Will write-in candidate emerge victorious in Island Lake?
A write-in candidate may have won a seat on Island Lake's village board Tuesday, edging out the town's former police chief for the political post.
But because of established procedures for counting write-in votes, the winner may not be revealed for two weeks.
Three seats on the board were up for election Tuesday. Newcomer Richard W. McLaughlin Jr. finished first with 542 votes and incumbent Will Ziegler placed second with 510 votes, unofficial results from Lake and McHenry counties show.
Former police chief and ex-trustee Anthony Sciarrone, the third candidate on the ballot, received 190 votes. Local business owner Chris Carlsen ran a write-in campaign, however -- and it's not yet clear how many votes Carlsen received.
In the Lake County portion of Island Lake, Carlsen received 21 votes, the county clerk's office confirmed Wednesday.
In the McHenry County portion of Island Lake, 202 write-in votes were cast in the race -- enough for Carlsen to beat Sciarrone, if all were for him.
But the McHenry County clerk's office won't evaluate write-in votes and confirm the total until April 16. That's the same day ballots arriving late by mail and provisional ballots will be counted, County Clerk Joe Tirio said.
Carlsen, who owns a restaurant in Island Lake and also is a professional pipe fitter, said he feels "great" about the election results.
"I put a lot of effort into (running)," said the first-time candidate. "I think the people spoke."
Sciarrone, a longtime police officer, served on the village board from 2013 to 2015, resigning when he was hired as Island Lake's police chief.
He was fired as chief in October after a village-ordered investigation into how he ran the department.
At the time, Trustee Mark Beeson said Sciarrone was dismissed for "gross incompetence" that included poor record keeping and running the department "with fear and intimidation." Following the investigation, a sergeant and a part-time officer were fired and another part-time officer resigned.
That was the second time Sciarrone was deposed as Island Lake's police chief. He was given the job on an interim basis in 2008, but demoted in 2010 after then-Mayor Debbie Herrmann accused him of failing to properly supervise officers and failing to control his temper when dealing with subordinates.
Dan Palmer replaced Sciarrone as the town's top cop last year.
Earlier this week, Sciarrone posted a long missive on Facebook alleging misuse of taxpayer funds in Island Lake by elected officials. He said the accusations of misconduct leading to his firing were fabricated.
Sciarrone hasn't responded to interview requests.
Ziegler was the only incumbent in the race. Beeson and Trustee John Burke opted not to seek re-election.
McLaughlin leads the village's fire and police commission. This was his first run for elected office.