Ex-chief Bero nominated for post again in Island Lake

Former Island Lake Police Chief Don Bero is set to reclaim that post this week, officials revealed Monday.

Bero, 65, of Wauconda, is Mayor-elect Charles Amrich’s choice for the position. The nomination must be ratified by the village board.

The proposed appointment and Bero’s name are listed on the agenda for Thursday’s board meeting, at which Amrich and the town’s newest trustees and clerk will take office.

Bero was the only police chief candidate sources mentioned after Amrich’s Election Day win last month. However, Amrich declined to confirm Bero was his choice until Monday.

Amrich praised Bero as a “personable guy” with a good law enforcement background.

“He’s a policeman’s police man,” Amrich said.

Bero was the town’s top cop from 2003 to 2005 — the last two years of Amrich’s first stretch as mayor. He left a few months after Tom Hyde took over as mayor.

Bero had previously served as a part-time police officer and a part-time code enforcement officer in Island Lake.

“I enjoyed my past time there,” Bero said of the department.

Before that, he was a police officer for 25 years in West suburban Broadview.

From 2005 until this past March, Bero worked as a civil process server for the McHenry County sheriff’s office. Bero said he planned to enjoy retirement until Amrich called and offered him the chief’s job.

If he gets the board’s vote, Bero said residents can expect “a more open police department” and one that’s more community oriented.

After defeating incumbent Debbie Herrmann in the mayor’s race, Amrich pledged to dump Chief William McCorkle. Amrich and his political allies have been critical of McCorkle’s performance and qualifications.

McCorkle, the chief since 2010, made the issue moot by resigning effective Thursday.

The nomination has the support of Trustee-elect Mark Beeson, who praised Bero’s experience and his willingness to listen.

Trustee Chuck Cermak said he’ll back the nomination, too.

“If that’s who (Amrich) wants, that’s who we’ll work with,” Cermak said.

Not all trustees are on board. Trustee Shannon Fox said she has concerns about Bero’s appointment, and she cited the lack of an interview process among her objections.

Amrich also will nominate the firm of Zukowski, Rogers, Flood and McArdle as the village’s new corporate legal team.

The firm will replace Ancel, Glink, Diamond, Bush, DiCianni and Krafthefer, the firm that’s represented the town in legal matters since 2005.

Amrich also had promised to fire Ancel Glink because of high legal bills and other complaints. Like McCorkle, the firm resigned effective Thursday.

He called the new firm “a first-class outfit.”

Partner David McArdle was one of the lawyers who represented Amrich in his fight to stay on the April 9 ballot after his candidacy was twice challenged by Herrmann supporters.

His firm donated $8,500 worth of legal fees to Amrich’s campaign, state records show.

McArdle also was at the heart of the 2010 legal fight between Herrmann and four village trustees. The trustees hired McArdle to be their attorney even though the village had Ancel Glink on its payroll.

That hiring and other political maneuvers led Herrmann to sue the trustees. The case eventually was settled.

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