Cary Park District supervisors now risk termination if they fail to disclose their involvement in a romantic or sexual relationship with a subordinate employee.
Commissioners voted 4-1 this week to implement the new policy, which "strongly" discourages such relationships, stating they "may at some point lead to unhappy complications and significant difficulties for all concerned."
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"We know that relationships happen everywhere. It's just that sometimes they cross the line, and that's what we hope to avoid," board President Bill Harvey said. "This is designed to let people know what the expectations are."
The burden lies on the higher-ranking employee, who must disclose the relationship to the executive director. If the executive director gets involved in such a relationship, he or she must disclose it to the board of commissioners, Harvey said. Failure to do so could lead to disciplinary action, including termination.
Commissioner Bill Krueger, who cast the dissenting vote, was not immediately available for comment.
Harvey confirmed the action was prompted by an incident involving former Cary Park District Executive Director Steve Cherveny and Superintendent of Recreation Susan Mayer, who in August resigned for personal reasons.
Court records show Cherveny and Mayer were cited in July for disorderly conduct, alleging they engaged in "obscene/sexual conduct in public" at the McHenry County Conservation District's Fox Bluff Conservation Area near Cary.
They admitted to an amended version of the charge in which they "disturbed others by engaging in loud conduct and in doing so breached the public peace." They were ordered to pay fines and fees and placed under temporary court supervision.
The board mostly modeled its new policy on a template provided by the Park District Risk Management Agency, Harvey said.