Endorsement: Russell to represent GOP in bid for second term as Kane coroner
Rob Russell's tenure in his first term as Kane County coroner is best judged by the advances in the operation under his guidance, rather than the constant and somewhat baffling conflict with the county board chairman that has continued virtually from the outset.
Russell inherited an office that had been riddled with scandal and mismanagement, and he has spent much of his first four years trying to right a ship that was barely seaworthy. In the process, he has earned the office national accreditation, re-established professional standards of operation and returned stability and high regard for the coroner's staff.
Critics, including his opponent Bob Tiballi, contend that the accreditation was an expensive and unnecessary bit of cosmetics and question Russell's spending on everything from the cleanup of a mold problem at the morgue to the way he manages his transportation vehicles.
While there may be room to quibble with some of Russell's decisions, it's nonetheless clear that he is managing a difficult balancing act to restore the competence and reputation of his office and still manage costs carefully.
Four years ago, when he and Tiballi faced off for the coroner's job, the issue was whether the coroner needed to have a medical background like Tiballi's or an investigative background, like that of Russell, a former DuPage County sheriff's officer. We believed then that Russell's experience was the most compelling. We also believed then, as we do still, that Tiballi is a formidable candidate with much to commend him for the coroner's job. But Russell has done a good job under trying conditions, and we support him to represent the GOP in a bid for a second term.