Angela Byrnes, a Crystal Lake resident who has spent 11 years as a registered nurse and who has experience working with sexual assault victims, has announced her intention to run for McHenry County Coroner in 2020.
Byrnes said she has worked in health care for 17 years but has always had a fascination for medical forensics, which compelled her to log more than 132 hours of classroom training in the field of medical forensic nursing at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the Wisconsin Department of Justice.
With this training, Byrnes said she also has performed sexual assault examinations, which showed her the importance of working with law enforcement to collect evidence from victims while also treating victims with dignity and compassion.
Currently, Byrnes serves as an executive leader of a nonprofit hospice organization in Illinois overseeing roughly 150 employees.
“I felt I could do a decent job at trying to get things back in order,” Byrnes said. “Knowing my experience and the challenges presented, it’s something I’m interested in.”
The position of county coroner was left by former Coroner Anne Majewski in March. McHenry County Sheriff Bill Prim’s then chief administrative officer, David Devane, took over as interim coroner the day after Majewski left and eventually was replaced by Lt. John Miller.
“I have reviewed the many challenges presented in the reports that have been published regarding our Coroner’s Office,” Byrnes said in a statement announcing her campaign. “Although there are many opportunities for improvement, I believe my experience in leadership, as well as my knowledge in medical forensics, make me the right choice to bring the Coroner’s Office into compliance with state statute.”
However, following the release of the third-party report, McHenry County Board Chairman Jack Franks said the evaluation shows that having an elected coroner is wrong and that he will seek assistance from the county board to determine how to professionalize the office.
Byrnes said if the structure of the coroner’s office changes through these discussions to make the coroner an appointed position, she would continue to fight for the opportunity.
For information on Byrnes’ campaign, visit her campaign’s Facebook page, Angela Byrnes for Coroner.