Carpentersville Fire Chief John Schuldt has been put on administrative leave, according to a report confirmed by WBBM radio.
Schuldt has had a long career with the Carpentersville department and has been recognized for his work at the state, national and international level. According to his biography with the International Association of Fire Chiefs, Schuldt was hired in 1980 as a full-time firefighter with the Carpentersville Fire Department. He has served as chief since 1996 with the exception of a one-year stint as acting village manager.
Schuldt did not return calls for comment Thursday.
Elected officials and village employees directed all media inquiries to Village Manager Mark Rooney, who also did not return calls Thursday.
Schuldt is a past president of the Illinois Fire Chiefs Association and was named Fire Chief of the Year in 2011 by that group. His involvement in bringing the healing field to Carpenter Park to honor 1,900 missing in action Vietnam War veterans set him above the other nominated chiefs, according to a past IFCA president.
Woodstock Fire Chief Ralph Webster, then president of the association, said at the time Schuldt's work with that display along with his involvement in the field both statewide, nationally and internationally earned him the award.
Webster could not be reached for comment Thursday.
Carpentersville Village President Ed Ritter said he cannot comment on personnel matters. Trustee Pat Schultz said she had no information about Schuldt's leave Thursday afternoon and that Rooney was the one with details.
"We're just kind of waiting for some direction from him," Schultz said. "He's looking into it."
An acting chief has been named to take Schuldt's place while he is on leave. Assistant Fire Chief John Skillman, next in line in the department's hierarchy, also could not be reached for comment Thursday.
Schuldt is one of the highest paid Carpentersville employees, second only to Rooney. According to a finance department document, Schuldt's total compensation for 2012 was $177,984.73. Rooney made about $180,500 last year.
Because Schuldt has been employed by the fire department for more than 30 years, he already is eligible to collect 75 percent of his monthly wage in pension payments -- the maximum amount allowed by Illinois law.
Details about the reason for Schuldt's leave, whether it is paid and how long it will last could not be confirmed Thursday.