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updated: 8/28/2014 2:20 PM

Island Lake officials still trying to resolve issue with sergeants' promotions

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  • Island Lake's attorney says the police department's two sergeants were promoted improperly in 2011. He's recommending the officers be demoted and the police commission fill the jobs with other eligible candidates.

       Island Lake's attorney says the police department's two sergeants were promoted improperly in 2011. He's recommending the officers be demoted and the police commission fill the jobs with other eligible candidates.
    Paul Valade | Staff Photographer

 
 

Island Lake officials are still trying to decide how to deal with two police sergeants who may have been promoted to that rank improperly.

The village's fire and police commission, which oversees police department hiring and promotions, has been discussing the issue but hasn't yet reached a resolution.

"The commission must come up with a procedure to deal with the people improperly placed in positions by the last mayor and chief, and properly fill those positions," village attorney David McArdle wrote in an email to the Daily Herald.

The commission met with one of the sergeants, Nick Deuter, last week to discuss the issue. A few officers who are in line for promotion to sergeant also attended the session.

The department's other sergeant, Garrett Schmoeller, didn't participate.

"The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the situation with all the sergeants (and officers) to see if they could agree on a procedure to correct the problem," McArdle said. "In the end, an agreement among everyone could not be reached, so we are in the same situation as before."

McArdle believes a solution could be implemented within a week or two.

Research by McArdle and the police commission indicates Deuter, Schmoeller and a third sergeant, David Walz, were promoted to that rank improperly.

Deuter and Schmoeller became sergeants in 2011 and Walz got his stripes in 2012. In all three cases, the promotions occurred while Debbie Herrmann was mayor and William McCorkle was police chief.

Herrmann lost a re-election bid in 2013. McCorkle quit shortly afterward.

None of the three sergeants were appointed to their posts by the police commission, as required by law, village documents indicate.

McArdle recommended Deuter, Schmoeller and Walz be stripped of their rank, and for the police commission to fill the jobs with eligible candidates.

Walz has since been promoted to deputy police chief.

If they are demoted, Deuter and Schmoeller no longer are eligible for promotion to sergeant because they haven't tested for promotion in at least three years.

In a telephone interview Thursday, Schmoeller said he doubts the situation can be resolved amicably. He said he's hired an attorney to represent him in the matter.

When asked how he feels about the controversy, Schmoeller simply said, "Not good."

Deuter couldn't be reached for comment.

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