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updated: 12/13/2010 7:47 PM

Cary parks consider rules for romance in the workplace

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In response to police finding a pair of now-ex Cary Park District employees in a very compromising position, the park board may review a policy that governs romantic relationships in the workplace.

The district's finance committee discussed the matter and currently has no such code on the books, said board President Bill Harvey.

Committee members spent the last meeting talking about a policy its insurance provider created that discourages supervisor and subordinate relationships and alludes to the ramifications of such relationships on the district.

The committee also directed staff to research the legal consequences of creating such a rule, to find out what other park districts practice and how those bodies handled breaches.

"We're still at the point where we're still trying to decide if we need a policy and how to word that policy so it's effective," Harvey said. "The fact is, no matter what kind of policy drafted, it's not going to cover every scenario."

This comes nearly four months after Executive Director Steve Cherveny and Superintendent of Recreation Susan Mayer resigned for what were cited as personal reasons.

McHenry County court records show Cherveny and Mayer who had both been with the park district at least a decade were cited in July on disorderly conduct charges, alleging they engaged in "obscene/sexual conduct in public."

Cherveny, 48, of Cary, and Mayer, 37, of Carol Stream, received the citations about 5:40 p.m. July 2 at the McHenry County Conservation District's Fox Bluff Conservation Area, near Cary, court documents state. On July 19, records show, each admitted to an amended version of the charge, this one stating they "disturbed others by engaging in loud conduct and in doing so breached the public peace." They were each ordered to pay $216 in fines and fees and placed on 100 days of court supervision.

The district paid Cherveny $28,905 under a longevity clause in his contract and, as part of his separation agreement, will continue to pick up the tab for his health insurance and other benefits through the end of the year. He made $114,198 annually while Mayer made $67,333 annually, documents show.

Harvey said the relationship was the "trigger" that set off the policy discussion.

"It brought to light the fact that we might want to consider whether we need something like this," Harvey said.

The committee is scheduled to discuss the matter again in January.