Lauzen Called Out for Cronyism He Decried in Race for Kane County Chairmanship
A Kane County committee is looking into the hiring practices after Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen hired political ally Robert Sauceda, according to reports in the Kane County Chronicle and Daily Herald.
Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen came under some fire this week after he hired political ally Robert Sauceda as a billing manager for the Kane County Animal Control Department, according to multiple media reports.
Articles in the Daily Herald and the Kane County Chronicle said Lauzen initialy had nominated Sauceda as the new director of the Animal Control Department, but the Kane County Board rejected the nomination in closed session.
A week later, Lauzen hired Sauceda as a temporary employee in charge of collecting debts owed the department.
Sauceda ran alongside Lauzen in the "Reform Kane" ticket of the 2012 primary, the Daily Herald said. Sauceda had run for a County Board seat in the South Elgin 16th District.
The Chicago Tribune reports that the county is now re-examining its hiring freeze policy, which some board members say was violated when Lauzen went ahead with the Sauceda hire.
Kane County Health Department Executive Director Barb Jeffers told the Daily Herald she created the billing manager position at Lauzen's request and said the position was not advertised.
Lauzen said County Board members had suggested hiring a billing manager in the closed-door meeting in January, when Lauzen had suggested Sauceda for the Animal Control director position.
In a Kane County Chronicle letter to the editor, Lauzen said he felt Sauceda would prove himself worthy of hiring.
"I hope that the more than 2,800 voters and their families who put up yard signs as 'political supporters' are not automatically disqualified from helping me now that we are putting in place needed management and ethics reforms," Lauzen wrote.