Lake County Sheriff Mark Curran is calling for longtime county prosecutor Michael Mermel to be fired for making “inappropriate statements” to the media that Curran said reflect poorly on Lake County’s criminal justice system.
Curran said Thursday he voiced his concerns about Mermel during a closed-door meeting with State’s Attorney Michael Waller Thursday morning.
Though it’s unusual for an elected sheriff to call publicly for a prosecutor’s dismissal, Curran said he did so because of his “disgust” with Mermel’s comments to the media and because of Curran’s respect for the constitutional process.
He cited comments Mermel reportedly made in a recent New York Times story about murder suspects in Lake County who’ve been targeted for prosecution even after DNA evidence pointed to other possible perpetrators…
The sheriff said it’s important for the public to recognize that “Mr. Mermel’s comments are not reflective of the overall majority of law enforcement officials that have made numerous sacrifices and dedicated themselves to seeking justice.”
It’s good that Curran has gone public with this. And this sort of thing is rare enough that he deserves some praise for it. (It probably helps that he has no plans to run for reelection.) But if his last statement were true, he’d have called for Mermel’s resignation years ago. The damage Mermel ahs done to the Lake County criminal justice system didn’t begin with the publication of the Times article on Sunday.