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updated: 11/16/2011 1:21 PM

Severance big issue in former Elburn top cop suit

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  • James Linane

    James Linane


Elburn's former police chief could be headed toward receiving about $85,000 in back pay, but the village is still disputing his claim to severance after he was fired in summer 2009.

Kane County Judge Kevin Busch could weigh in on the dispute Monday.

James Linane sued the village last year, saying he was fired in July 2009 after a new village president was elected, and that he was owed nearly $148,000.

The suit argued he had not received some $85,000 in unpaid holiday pay, comp time, personal day and sick pay along with some $63,000 in severance at a rate of one month's salary for each year of service.

Linane was hired in 2001, but fired after in July 2009 after Village President David Anderson was elected.

Linane contends a letter of intent to accept the position also implied the village would abide by its policies if his employment was terminated.

"Although it is true that one mayor cannot tie the hands of his successor by forcing the successor to continue to employ an officer, nothing within the statute allows a village to renege on its promise to pay severance after it has been earned," Glenn Gaffney, Linane's attorney, wrote in court filings.

"Severance is an earned benefit by virtue of ongoing years of service, which accrues during each work year and is deemed 'vested' as much as the right to receive wages or any other form of compensation," Gaffney continued.

Charles Hervas, attorney for the village, disagreed.

"Plaintiff lacks a valid and enforceable agreement against the village and plaintiff is not entitled to severance under the letter of intent (from 2001) because he was not terminated during the term of the agreement," wrote Hervas in a motion asking the judge to dismiss Linane's severance claims.

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