Gurnee Deputy Police Chief Kevin Woodside is in line to take over as the village's top cop Monday night. Woodside has been Gurnee's acting police chief since September. He was appointed to that post after the village board approved a $139,000 "retirement/separation" package for Police Chief Robert Jones.
Jones' deal came in the wake of him being on administrative leave with pay from mid-July to September after unspecified employee complaints led to an investigation of his conduct by a Chicago law firm hired by the village.
Gurnee Mayor Kristina Kovarik is recommending the village board appoint Woodside to police chief at Monday night's meeting. She said Woodside has received good support from police employees and that i's preferable to promote from within.
"He knows the organization and he knows the community," Kovarik said Friday. "He's a strong administrator, because a lot of the police chief's job is administration and not chasing bad guys."
Former Mayor Donald Rudny appointed Woodside as deputy police chief in 2004 without opposition from any of the six village board trustees. Detective Cmdr. Jim Caldwell is up for promotion to deputy police chief at Monday's session.
Jones was accused of "core employee handbook" violations, but nothing of a criminal nature, according to the mayor. Officials have not made additional information public, citing confidentiality allowed for personnel issues.
Male and female police department employees filed the complaints against Jones with Village Administrator James Hayner's office, Kovarik said. The accusations didn't go back more than 12 months. Kovarik said the probe of Jones ended in mid-August after he indicated a desire to retire. Village employees were interviewed, but Jones was not, she said. Jones became Gurnee's top cop in 1994 after a 26-year career at the Elmhurst Police Department.