A knight clad in armor, evoking sentiments of honor and justice. That's the feeling Kane County Coroner Rob Russell wants to convey in unveiling a new logo for his office Thursday.
Russell provided a history lesson on the roles of coroners throughout time, while displaying the logo for the first time in a ballroom at the Herrington Inn in Geneva. At one time, the location was the site where the first selection of Kane County's elected officials occurred.
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"Interestingly enough, one of these select few was a coroner," Russell said. "It shows the importance, even back then, of the coroner."
The birth of the coroner function predates the Magna Carta, Russell said. And the duties of the office were performed by knights, which provided the inspiration for the logo. The knight is depicted as kneeling before a tombstone with beams of sunlight at his back. Below are three words in Latin: Honor (honor), Veritas (truth) and Servitium (service).
Russell, in recent months, has been locked in both a budgetary and public relations battle with county board Chairman Chris Lauzen. The chairman has publicly characterized Russell's performance in his first year as coroner as being in need of help and direction from himself and the county board. Russell has pushed back, saying he has been unfairly scrutinized and berated.
On Thursday, Russell said he's worked to restore integrity to his office. One example he cited was his finding of a final resting place for dozens of human ashes he found on a shelf in a storage shed. He also pointed to the budget negotiations as another victory because he increased the dollar amount the county board was initially willing to give him.
"We want to continue to bring honor and integrity to the office," Russell said. "This logo will be here, hopefully, long after I'm gone. I think it communicates what our job really is. That's one of my goals for 2014. A lot of times, the service part is forgotten."
Russell said he did not consult with Lauzen or the county board in designing the logo. A Judson University graphic design student, Ethan Pollard, created the logo gratis for Russell.
"I don't see why anyone should have any issue with me getting a free logo for the office," Russell said.
He plans to formally present the logo to the county board later this month. The logo will then be phased in as current office stationery is used up.