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County board can't stop sheriff from having other jobs

Questions about whether the Ogle County Board could do anything about Sheriff Michael Harn accepting a second job were addressed Tuesday night.

"I was asked about the sheriff," said Ogle County Board Chairman Kim Gouker, Byron. "The situation is this — as an elected official he has a term until Nov. 30. The only one he reports to is the voters and they spoke."

Gouker said he reviewed the situation with Ogle County State's Attorney Mike Rock.

"Harn assured us he will do the job," said Gouker. "We have no authority. We as a board can not change what has been appropriated for his department. We will monitor and make the best of it."

Gouker praised the work being done by employees of the sheriff's department.

"There are good people in the department," he said. "Bad people are being arrested. The county is being taken care of. We will work with the sheriff."

Harn accepted a second full-time job May 21 as a maintenance supervisor at Forrestville Valley  School District and started June 2.

Gouker also addressed a letter by Connie Karper, Oregon, that was published in the June 12 editions of Ogle County Newspapers and in the Dixon Telegraph last week.

"The board was attacked by a letter in a newspaper," said Gouker. "We will not change. This board is doing what needs to be done and it is all we can do."

Board member Lee Meyers, Byron, claimed Karper had incorrect information in the letter.

"Village president is a part time job," he said. "Also his school job is not full time yet."

Forrestville Valley Interim Superintendent Jane Eichman said last month that Harn would be expected to work 40 hours a week at the school starting June 2. He will be paid $17 an hour.

Harn didn't respond to requests for comments on his job at the school.

Eichman said she was assured by Harn that it wouldn't be a problem to balance his time between being sheriff and the maintenance coordinator.

In other sheriff's discussions, board member Lyle Hopkins, Polo, said the Ogle County Fair Board will make space available for the sheriff's department at this year's county fair.

"The sheriff paid for a tent from the tow fund at the fair," said Hopkins. "We made provisions to have a spot at the fair."

Hopkins said having the sheriff's department at the fair has been well received over the past few years, and the fair board wanted to continue the relationship.

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