Algonquin Twp. ex-trustee’s fight to stay in his seat continues, even after his replacement appointed

Nicole Kunkle will fill the remainder of Edward Zimel, Jr.’s term, which ends next year

Algonquin Township advertises their Covid-19 vaccination clinic Monday, Jan. 24, 2022, at the Algonquin Township office, 3702 Route 14 in Crystal Lake. The clinic was put on by the township to help people get they vaccine, after the Omicron variant made getting shots at other locations harder. Illinois

A new Algonquin Township trustee, Nicole Kunkle, has been appointed to fill the seat of Edward Zimel Jr. after his petition for a rehearing on his to remain on the board was denied.

Kunkle, who is the daughter of McHenry County Board member Matt Kunkle, will fill the remainder of Zimel’s term, which is up for reelection in spring 2025, Supervisor Randy Funk said.

Nicole Kunkle was one of five people who applied for the empty position and was voted in unanimously by the board on Feb. 15.

“I think she’ll do a good job,” Funk said. “I sure hope she’ll do a good job.”

Kunkle declined to comment for this story.

The Algonquin Township board put off appointing a new trustee when Zimel first appealed to the courts after he was removed from office because of a decades-old felony conviction. The Illinois 2nd District Appellate Court upheld the ruling to remove Zimel in December.

Algonquin Township Trustee Ed Zimel

Zimel was first removed by the township by McHenry County Judge Joel Berg in June for Zimel’s 1990 conviction of intimidation in Cook County.

Before the appeals court ultimately ruled against him, Zimel was allowed back into the position in August when the court granted his request to stay on the board until the ruling came down.

With Kunkle now filling Zimel’s seat, the township sees it as a “done deal,” Funk said.

It’s not a done deal as far as Zimel is concerned. His attorney, John Nelson, said Zimel plans to appeal the case again, this time to the Illinois Supreme Court.

Zimel filed a petition for a rehearing with the appellate court, but was denied last month, Illinois Supreme Court Chief Communications Officer Christopher Bonjean said.

If the Supreme Court hears Zimel’s appeal and overturns the original decision, Nelson fully expects Zimel to be able to work out the remainder of his elected term, he said.

“It will be a happy day for Mr. Zimel and a proper day for Algonquin Township,” he said.

Algonquin Township is in the far southeast corner of McHenry County and includes all or part of Crystal Lake, Cary, Algonquin, Lake in the Hills, Fox River Grove, Trout Valley and Barrington Hills.