Five days after retiring as Naperville police chief, David Dial quietly returned to the city's payroll as a consultant to help the department he just left.
He remained in that consulting role for three months, from May 23 to Aug. 18, although few in Naperville, including members of the city council and Mayor George Pradel, knew it.
During that time, the city continued to pay him as it had as chief — by prorating his annual $155,213.45 salary — plus payments to his retirement plan, according to his contract, which was obtained this week by the Daily Herald through a Freedom of Information request.
City Manager Doug Krieger confirmed Dial received roughly $50,000 in salary and benefits during his consulting stint.
The three-page contract, signed by Dial and Krieger on March 8, specifically lists six duties for which Dial was responsible. Those duties included, but were not limited to:
Ÿ Assisting in the selection of a new chief.
Ÿ Preparing for an on-site assessment in August and a November accreditation hearing.
Ÿ Helping with a succession plan to deal with expected retirements within the leadership ranks.
Ÿ Assisting with contract negotiations with patrol officers and sergeants.
Ÿ Acquainting the new chief with several professional organizations.
Ÿ Readying the department for the deployment of resources during the anticipated protests of May's NATO summit.
Two of those tasks were completed before Dial began working as a consultant. The NATO summit was over by May 23 and Bob Marshall, a 27-year member of the Naperville police force, was sworn in as chief on May 18.
Nevertheless, Krieger said it was important to keep Dial on “to ensure the smoothest transition” for the new chief.
“Obviously anyone who has spent 22 years in the department has tremendous institutional knowledge,” Krieger said. “Based on what we had coming up in the summer, including NATO, the filling of key police department management positions and most importantly our accreditation, I absolutely felt it best to be able to utilize his knowledge and relationships for both the police department and city as a whole during that time.”
Dial, who became Aurora University's director of criminal justice on Aug. 20, said he met with accreditation assessors in August for several hours and had in-depth discussions with Marshall about creating a department succession plan. He was not, however, able to say how many hours he worked for the city.
“I certainly didn't keep a calendar on it and I'm not sure that is even important,” Dial said. “There was a lot going on in the city and I think Krieger wanted to make sure there was a smooth transition between chiefs, and I think I provided that.”
Marshall was not immediately available for comment on whether the contractual relationship was beneficial to him as he took over the department.
Marshall spent 27 years as a Naperville police officer and captain before he retired in 2005; he spent the next seven years as assistant city manager. But Dial and Krieger both said much had changed in the department during Marshall's absence.
“There was plenty going on in the police department that Marshall had nothing to do with as assistant city manager,” Dial said. “And he was gone from the department for seven years. I was still there, but many other things had changed during that time.”
When asked why he didn't remain as chief until he started his new job in August, Dial said he specifically chose May 18 as his retirement date and had no intentions of staying beyond that.
“I preplanned I would leave on May 18, at the end of National Law Enforcement Week and at the conclusion of our annual awards ceremony,” Dial said. “There was no changing my mind. I wanted to make sure the last thing I did, as chief of that department, was honor the men and women of the Naperville Police Department.”
Word of Dial's consulting contract caught council members by surprise. As city manager, Krieger is authorized to sign off on expenses up to $100,000 without council approval.
Councilman Doug Krause immediately restated his demand that Krieger's “allowance” be slashed to $50,000 or less.
“Apparently we found a way to compensate (Dial) further and I don't know that he did any of those things (listed in the contract),” Krause said. “I'm completely blindsided by this, and when I do Krieger's review I'm going to make sure he knows I don't appreciate being blindsided.”
Councilman Steve Chirico said he wishes the council had been notified.
“I think I understand what safety nets Krieger was trying to put in place to ensure everything went perfect for Marshall's re-entry to the department,” Chirico said. “But on something that could be this controversial I would have liked to have known what was coming and been able to provide input.”
Given Marshall's institutional knowledge of the department and the city, Chirico said he would have suggested shortening the deal to no more than a month and at significantly less compensation.
“I believe in March, they probably didn't know Marshall would be the chief, so I get that,” Chirico said. “But once we knew he would be, there seems to have been time to restructure that deal. Three months at full salary and benefits seems a little excessive when we got a chief with Marshall's history and familiarity with the city.”
Councilman Paul Hinterlong said: “You can put me on the list as surprised, so I'll be talking to (Krieger) shortly. He's correct that he certainly got it done within his power, but he should have at least given us a heads-up. What's so secretive about it that we couldn't be notified and brought up to speed?”
Other council members, including Robert Fieseler, Kenn Miller and Joe McElroy, said they were not opposed to Krieger executing the deal without their knowledge.
“There's a real fine line between wanting to know and micromanaging the city manager. I think we need to just give him the appropriate latitude,” Fieseler said. “$50,000 is not outrageous. If (Krieger) thinks Dial's expertise is worth $50,000 to keep him on retainer and ensure a smooth transition, who am I to argue?”
“I just don't see an issue here. From what I can see, everything appears to have been in the proper order,” he said. “I can't argue with wanting to make a guy with 27 years in your department available for consulting. There's no issue here.”
Krieger said he was pleased with how the arrangement worked out. Dial, he said, “absolutely lived up to his end of the contract and it worked great. In terms of getting the right people in right spots at the police department, I think he provided great input into that.”Copyright © 2013 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.