Wauconda village board members unanimously approved Patrick Yost's formal promotion to police chief on Tuesday, ending his eight-month term as interim chief.
Mayor Frank Bart named Yost the department's interim chief last summer after forcing Douglas Larsson out of the post. The personnel changes drew widespread criticism from the community, and until Tuesday Bart never asked the board to vote on making Yost's promotion from sergeant.
Under Illinois law, a mayor can unilaterally name an interim chief. Hiring a permanent chief requires a board vote, however.
"It's been a long time," Trustee Ken Arnswald said before the vote.
Yost's contract includes a $116,050 annual salary, more than he had earned as interim chief. He will receive back pay for the time he served as interim chief.
The contract is effective immediately and will expire July 9, 2015. The board can extend the contract at that time.
Trustee Linda Starkey said it's better to have a chief who has a contract and is accountable to the board on the job than an interim chief who has the post indefinitely.
Trustee John Barbini said naming Yost chief brings "a greater sense of stability to that department."
Yost recited the oath of office after the vote with assistance from Village Clerk Gina Strelecki.