In August of 2017, Sheriff Mark Curran nominated Deborah Goldberg to fill a vacancy on the Lake County Sheriff’s Merit Commission. The vacancy was created by the resignation of Merit Commission Chairwoman Marion Watson, who honorably served on the Commission since 1981. On September 12, 2017 the Lake County Board approved Sheriff Curran’s nomination and approved Ms. Goldberg’s appointment to the Merit Commission.
Sheriff Curran nominated Ms. Goldberg because of her qualifications, knowledge, and experience in the legal field. Ms. Goldberg practices law in Lake County, has been a member of the Illinois Bar Association since 2002, and Lake County Bar Association since 1989, serving as the President in 2005.
In 1965, the Lake County Board enacted an ordinance creating the Lake County Sheriff’s Office Merit Commission. The Merit Commission is a quasi-judicial administrative agency. It operates independently of both the Sheriff and the County Board, administering a system along recognized principles of public employment, promotion, and discipline, as prescribed by state statute and county ordinance.
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office Merit Commission is tasked with screening all applicants seeking appointment to the office of Deputy Sheriff, administering examinations for promotions within the Sheriff’s Office, conducting hearings on disciplinary charges brought before the commission, and other various administrative duties.
Since Sheriff Curran took office in 2006, the entire makeup of the Merit Commission has changed. Sheriff Curran maintained political party equality of the Merit Commission, nominating both Republicans and Democrats.
In early 2014, Sheriff Curran nominated former Buffalo Grove Chief of Police Leo McCann to the Merit Commission. Mr. McCann served in the United States Army then began his law enforcement career, lasting nearly 40 years. Mr. McCann served in leadership capacities at Evergreen Park Police Department, Buffalo Grove Police Department, and Skokie Police Department. He served in the capacity of Chief of Police for nearly 23 years.
In September of 2014, Sheriff Curran nominated Dr. Kenneth Kessler to the Merit Commission. Dr. Kessler is a former Village Trustee and former Mayor of the Village of Mundelein. He received his Ph.D. from Finch University of Health Sciences/The Chicago Medical School in 1995. Dr. Kessler is a professor for the Psychology Department at Rosalind Franklin University in North Chicago.
In December of 2015, Sheriff Curran nominated Nick Gountanis to the Merit Commission. Mr. Gountanis, a first-generation immigrant of Greece, is a Waukegan business owner recognized by the City of Waukegan for his dedication to the community. He is an active volunteer in the community and served as President of American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA). Mr. Gountanis is a dedicated leader in the Lake County community.
In December of 2016, Sheriff Curran nominated David A. Northern, Sr. to the Merit Commission. Mr. Northern is the Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Lake County Housing Authority and held other positions within the housing authority since 1999. He received his Master of Public Affairs degree from Indiana University Northwest and is a Board Member with the Community Consolidated District 46 Board of Education.
Sheriff Mark Curran said, “The overall makeup of the Merit Commission has completely changed since I took office in 2006. I’ve nominated Commissioners who are diverse, ethical, professional, and respected members of our community. Our current group of Commissioners represent all aspects of our Lake County community and I am grateful for their dedicated service to the people of Lake County. I am especially grateful for Ms. Watson’s leadership, wisdom, and guidance on the Merit Commission over the last three decades.”