Lee Harris, Joseph Cirelli, Steve Bertrand discussed on Chicago's Afternoon News
W G. N I'm Steve Bertrand. You know, this week we've been, um, remembering 9 11 and talking to the people who were there in one way or another and coming up. A little over an hour from now about 5 45. We'll talk to Lee Harris. He's a news anchor at 10 10 wins in the New York and he actually was the anchor on the air at the time of the attacks, is also a longtime friend of mine. We work together here, probably 35 years ago, so we'll catch up with Lee coming up, but a lot of you have commented on the conversation we had with retired major Heather Lucky Penney. She was in the National Guard. At the time, she flew an unarmed F 16 into the air with the idea of crashing into flight 93 before it eventually crashed in Pennsylvania. We talked to her earlier this week. So many of you have talked about that interview that we had that we're going to replay a little bit of it. Stick around that will come up in about five or 10 minutes from now, Have you been following Winnebago County? The corner there is named Bill hints he's indicted, charged with literally taking money from dead people, But because he is elected, they can't figure out a way to get rid of him. He's going to plead not guilty. Doesn't want to resign. The Winnebago County chairman is Joseph Cirelli. He joins us on the phone line now Chairman Welcome Hey, How's it going? It's going well here. Now, As I understand it, you just got out of a meeting with the Winnebago state's attorney, the Winnebago County sheriff and yourself trying to figure out What to do with Bill hints. What was the resolution? So, Yeah. Thank you for having me on here. And also Winnebago County Sheriff Gary Carolina is right next to me, too. So you're getting tag teamed here, buddy. I'll take that. What do you What kind of plan did you come up with? Alright. So last evening, the Winnebago County board voted unanimously to Asked the coroner to resigned from his duties and or to remove himself from the administrative duties voluntarily with pay. So that was very good sign that the county board unanimously there's 20 district members. Voted to for that resolution to ask him to resign or to put himself involuntary administrative leave with pay. And so, yeah, go ahead and I and we just We just met with the staff at the coroner's office, and we notified them that we're full support of the workers in that office. All the deputy corners. The assistance in there and the investigators that the sheriff and I and the administration Are going to be giving them as much support needed. Um, we're assuming that the corner is not going to resign or voluntary put himself on administrative leap. So at this time we're taking upon ourselves to step into that leadership role. Um, to assist the coroner's office. We're talking to Chairman Joseph Cheryle, Winnebago County Chairman. What does that mean? Are you going to take over the day to day operations of the coroner's office? We're going to assist the existing employees in that office to help them do their jobs to assist and serve the Winnebago County citizens. So it what it means is that the Winnebago County cornered himself. We have cancelled his access cards, um to the office, and he is put on voluntary administrative leave by myself and within conjunction with the support Of the sheriff of Winnebago County Sheriff. I'm going to ask you that again because you said he's been placed on voluntary leave, but it sounds like it's involuntary. Did you mean to say involuntary? Yes, he has not come to a decision. We have made the decision when a Bagel County administration and the sheriff's department too. Take away his access. Through his access card to his office, and we are now going to be assisting the employees of the coroner's office and their daily duties to make sure that that office is being run appropriately without the leadership of the corner. That's Chairman Joseph Cirelli. Hey, can you hand the phone to the sheriff? I'd love to talk to him for a second. Um I hope you can handle the sheriff. Hey, Good afternoon, Sheriff. I'm going to give it my best shot. Tell me your name. I'm sorry. Didn't catch it at first. Gary Carolina. Alright, sheriff. So if the corner Hinman shows up at the office, what are you going to do? Well, we're going to politely tell him that you know again. We shut up all access and that you know he's going through his. You know his legal process and, you know, continue to do his legal process. But at this point, he's he's not running the operation and again. We're going to put some infrastructure in place with the employees that They're going to have a dotted line to our office and provide again the community. They will be okay. Rockford Region, um, that trust back into the corners office and make sure that everything gets done in a timely manner. But sheriff let me ask you, he's duly elected. Do you have the authority or power to keep him out of his office? I mean, can you do that? You're right. You you, You have a point and again with the meetings with Chairman Elliot J. Hanley, our state's attorney's office and myself. Um, yeah. You know what? We are looking at uncharted grounds that you know what to Um, not be able to do that, because you're right. He's a constitutional officeholder like myself, But at some point we felt the operation of the corner wasn't getting done. There was things that were not getting down. The employees were being abused and for the sake of management leadership, we wanted to interject and try to provide the you know the greater good community. What the coroner's office assaults and the standing in the state's attorney says this is legal. No, he didn't. He didn't say it was legal. You know, we're kind of a little on presidents here and doing this, But we've had the blessing of the state's attorney's office and the county board saying, Hey, look, we have to do something in an effort to make sure that we run this operation. So that is interesting As you said, uncharted waters. So, sheriff, I appreciate you're explaining it for us and the audience and Thank the chairman as well. I will do that. You have a good way. Good day and have a great weekend. You too, as well. Wow, That's certainly an interesting development in Winnebago County Art will drop back into our interview with pilot Heather Lucky Penney and recall the days of September 11th. But first marriage got to look at the weather and traffic..