Curran drops out of state's attorney race

Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran has ended his run for state's attorney, just weeks after announcing plans to challenge incumbent Mike Nerheim in the 2016 Republican primary.

Curran announced he was dropping his challenge in a news release Monday night.

"Last week I met with State's Attorney Mike Nerheim and discussed my reasons for challenging him in the Republican primary," Curran said in the statement. "He appeared to demonstrate a sincere concern about the issues I raised and I feel we have reached a common ground. Therefore, I am no longer seeking the office of state's attorney and remain committed to continuing to raise the bar at the Lake County sheriff's office."

Nerheim couldn't be reached for comment.

A lawyer by profession, Curran has been sheriff since 2006 and was re-elected last year. Nerheim is finishing his first term as the county's top prosecutor, having been elected in 2012.

When Curran announced plans to challenge Nerheim in August, he cited the office's record of wrongful prosecutions as a primary factor.

Six convictions have been reversed since 2010. All six occurred while Nerheim's predecessor, Michael Waller, was state's attorney.

One of those cases, involving defendant Juan Rivera, resulted in a $20 million settlement, the largest wrongful conviction settlement in U.S. history.

Curran's tenure as sheriff hasn't been without controversy.

Lake County paid a $1.95 million settlement in 2014 for the mistreatment of prisoner Eugene Gruber after the Grayslake man was paralyzed in a 2011 scuffle with jail guards. Gruber died in 2012.

Additionally, relatives of Vernon Hills resident Lyvita Gomes sued the county after she died in the jail during a hunger strike in 2012.

That case hasn't been resolved.

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