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- Will County Sheriff's Police Deputies FOP Union
- Will County Sheriff's Police Supervisors MAP Union
- Will County Employees AFSCME Union
- Will County Sheriff's Department FOP Lodge
- Illinois Area 5 AFSCME People Committee
- Joliet Police Officers FOP Union
- Joliet Police Supervisors FOP Union
- Joliet Police FOP Lodge
- AFSCME Counsel 31
- Chicago Tribune
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Mike Kelley for Will County Sheriff
Your vote can make a difference !!!
Detective Sgt. Mike Kelley, a 25-year veteran of the Will County Sheriff's Department, is running for Will County Sheriff.
Kelley, who has worked in virtually every division within the Will County Sheriff's Department, is running as a Democrat. He announced his candidacy in his hometown of Lockport recently with a coalition of state and countywide elected officials standing by his side, among them Will County Executive Larry Walsh, State's Attorney James Glasgow, Coroner Patrick O'Neil and Circuit Clerk Pam McGuire. He was also joined by dozens of his brothers and sisters in local law enforcement with whom he has served over the past 2-1/2 decades.
Kelley, who joined the Sheriff's Department in 1988, currently serves as a sergeant in the Criminal Investigations Division. He also has served as a patrol sergeant, as a Will County State's Attorney's Office investigator, in the Fugitive Warrants Division, as a deputy providing security in the Will County Courthouse and as a deputy in the Will County Adult Detention Facility.
“My goal is to raise morale and breathe new life into the Sheriff's Department by streamlining and modernizing the way we provide services to our citizens,” Kelley said. “We have many of the finest police officers in the nation working in our department, and they deserve an effective leader who has their back and will provide them with the tools they need to protect everyone in our community.”
Kelley said he will consolidate evidence storage facilities and review departmental procedures to ensure that best practices are being followed. He also vowed to put more deputies and detectives on our streets to combat the heroin epidemic that is affecting many suburban communities.
“If we're going to combat this public safety crisis, we need to work even harder to put the dealers behind bars and cut the flow of heroin into our neighborhoods” Kelley said.
Kelley acknowledged that many local governments have experienced fiscal hardships in recent years. But he noted that his background as a local elected official – he currently serves as a Lockport Township Trustee and he also served as a Lockport City Alderman as well as the Lockport Township Collector – has provided him with the experience and knowledge necessary to lead the Sheriff's Department responsibly in tight financial times.
He is a member of the Metropolitan Alliance of Police, the Illinois Homicide Investigators Association, a Moose Member, a former AFSCME #2961 Executive Board Member (Deputies Union), a former FOP Labor Council Executive Board Member (Deputies Union), and a former Metropolitan Alliance of Police #123 Executive Board Member (Supervisors Union).
Kelley also has received Departmental Awards for Meritorious Service and Distinguished Service.
He has been married to his wife, Leigh, for 21 years, and they have three sons.
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Watch this interview with Mike Kelley:
September 15, 2014
Kelley vows to end family deal on sheriff's foreclosures
Opponent's brother-in-law collects millions Kelley would use to reduce department deficits
Democratic Will County Sheriff candidate Mike Kelley announced today he will end a lucrative deal that has steered millions of dollars to his opponent's brother-in-law, a lawyer who has been auctioning off foreclosed properties on behalf of the Sheriff's Department for years.
Kelley is working with county officials to place the administration of foreclosure sales under the complete direction of the Sheriff's Department and Will County attorneys. The move will enable the Sheriff's Department to use those revenues to reduce the millions of dollars in budget shortfalls incurred by the current sheriff.
Randal Miller, an attorney with Dunn, Martin, Miller and Heathcock, has been auctioning off foreclosed homes on behalf of the Will County Sheriff's Department for decades, and he has brought in millions of dollars to his private law firm under this deal.
Miller is the brother-in-law of Kelley's opponent, Ken Kaupas. Miller collected nearly $1.4 million in revenue from foreclosure sales between 2008 and 2012 alone, according to a recent Sheriff's Department report. Ken Kaupas currently works as an administrator in the Sheriff's Department, where he was hired by his cousin, current Will County Sheriff Paul Kaupas. Miller also has donated thousands of dollars to Ken Kaupas' campaign for sheriff.
“It's a staggering breach of integrity for the current sheriff to continue steering such large sums of money to a family member of one of his administrators,” Kelley said. “I'll restore public trust immediately by ending a sweetheart deal that has made one private lawyer rich at the expense of thousands upon thousands of people who were struggling just to keep a roof over their heads.”
Miller currently receives a fee of $125 per foreclosure and $100 for each canceled sale. There were 3,012 foreclosure sales in 2012 alone. The Sheriff's Department report estimated the department could begin handling as many as 200 foreclosure sales per week.
Kelley already has entered into discussions with Will County officials, including Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow, to bring the complete supervision of foreclosure sales under the direction of the sheriff's department and county attorneys. Kelley said his primary goal is to make certain these sales are supervised closely and conducted with the utmost integrity.
Revenues from sales that currently fill the pockets of Miller and his partners instead could be utilized by the county to reduce Sheriff's Department budget shortfalls that have ballooned under the Kaupas Administration. Kelley also would like to see some of that funding directed toward programs that will assist local homeowners who are struggling while the economy recovers.
“It's important that we take steps to protect hardworking local homeowners who pursued the American dream but got behind in their mortgages during this difficult economy,” Kelley said.
Kelley, a detective sergeant in the Sheriff's Department's Investigations Division, is the only candidate with the government experience to make certain tax revenues are spent properly and with integrity. He has served in elected office as a Lockport City Alderman and as the Lockport Township Collector. He currently serves as an elected Lockport Township Trustee. Because of this experience, Kelley knows how to work with elected officials to shepherd responsible initiatives through the government process.
Chicago Tribune Oct. 25th Collar County Endorsements
Sheriff: Incumbent Paul Kaupas is retiring, which creates the opportunity for a way-overdue overhaul of this troubled office. That's not likely to happen under Republican Ken Kaupas of Shorewood, the deputy chief of special operations and a second cousin of the incumbent. Democrat Mike Kelley of Lockport has the experience — he's a sergeant in the criminal investigations unit — and the strong ideas to accomplish significant improvements. Kelley would trim administrative expenses and revise the current process for sheriff's foreclosure sales, promising to save big money. He vows to attack the stunning rise in heroin use by young people in the suburbs by targeting dealers. Kelley is endorsed.
Chicago Tribune March 22, 2014
Sheriff: In 2010, this page urged voters to defeat Sheriff Paul Kaupas after a series of disastrous investigative foul-ups. Kaupas is retiring now. Three Democrats and two Republicans seek to replace him.
Our endorsement in the Democratic primary goes to Mike Kelley of Lockport, a detective sergeant in the criminal investigations unit of the sheriff's office and a Lockport Township trustee. He has 25 years of experience in the sheriff's office and good ideas to restructure it. He says he'll focus on an "epidemic" of heroin use among young people He is preferred over sheriff's Lt. Steve Egan of Joliet and Ed Bradley, who recently became University Park's chief of police.
On the Republican side, Ken Kaupas, the deputy chief of special operations in the sheriff's office (and a second cousin of the sheriff) faces Nick Ficarello, who retired as a deputy chief in the office in 2009. Both give us pause. Kaupas acknowledges that in 2002, when he was an Illinois State Police captain, he was suspended for 10 days on misconduct charges. Ficarello was a top supervisor during the poorly handled investigation of the 2004 murder of 3-year-old Riley Fox. Ficarello notes that he came to the job two weeks after that investigation started. Neither one offers much hope yet of a top-to-bottom shake-up. We make no endorsement in the primary but will revisit in the general election.
Click HERE to read about Mike Kelley's plans to clean up the evidence storage issues for Will County.
Click HERE to read about Mike Kelley programs that will hit hard on gang crime, child predators.