A lingering question about the intentions of former Mundelein Police Chief Raymond J. Rose was dispelled Thursday with his appointment as Lake County Undersheriff.
Sheriff Mark Curran named Rose to the post that has been vacant since November 2011 with the retirement of Charles Fagan. Such appointments are within Curran's authority as an elected official and are not subject to a county board vote.
Rose said he had considered seeking the sheriff's post but decided not to run for office, saying he preferred police work to politics. His appointment is effective Sept. 30.
"I'm not a politician. I'm a police officer," he said. "I don't see myself doing that, nor would I enjoy it."
Rose said he and Curran had discussed other positions within the office but none fit.
"I've always contended there's a law enforcement component that needs to be involved," he said.
Curran said Rose's extensive resume speaks for itself and he did not consider other candidates after deciding to fill the position.
"I've been working 80 hours a week for a long time," Curran said. "The drain personally has been enormous. Ultimately, I came to the (realization) that the office would be better served with an undersheriff and the county would be better served by an undersheriff."
Basically, Rose, 66, will report to Curran and be in charge of day-to-day operations of the office, which has 600 full and part-time employees. He described it as being similar to the job description of a police chief.
"I think it will work out well, not only for the organization but for the county at large," Rose said.
Rose's annual salary will be $150,000. He will continue to collect a $57,273 annual pension from his 24-year tenure in Elk Grove Village but not his annual $55,112 Mundelein pension, which is under the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund system. It will be suspended until he leaves the sheriff's office.
"It had been a process," Curran said of the decision. "I think the office was running efficiently, but by the same token, I don't think it was fair to my family."
Rose retired in January after 20 years as Mundelein police chief. He is well known in the county and has been involved with many community initiatives.
Curran, a Republican who is serving a second term as sheriff, had considered seeking statewide office but changed his mind in February and will seek a third term. He said appointing a potential rival to the post is not a quid pro quo. And although it won't hurt his re-election chances, it was done more for peace of mind, he added.
"That was not something that was leveraged. I think he evaluated it and decided he was not running," Curran said.
"Am I better off politically by having the good will Ray Rose brings into the office? Of course," he added.
Rose bristled at the notion of political maneuverings as a factor in the decision.
"Anybody who says that or thinks that doesn't know Ray Rose," he said. "I'm not going to be selling myself for a political position."
Curran said he did not seriously consider any other choices.
"Not really. I've had conversations with Chief Rose about coming into the office for years in one capacity or another. At the end of the day, I didn't see anybody who would be a better fit." Rose is a past president of the Illinois and Lake County chiefs of police associations and has extensive training. He has chaired several task forces and committees including the Lake County Major Crimes Task Force, Lake County Metropolitan Enforcement Group and Northeastern Illinois Regional Crime Laboratory.