Three Island Lake trustees want police chief reinstated

Three Island Lake trustees are formally requesting the village's recently suspended police chief and another officer be reinstated.

Mayor Debbie Herrmann suspended acting Chief Anthony Sciarrone this week and part-time officer Fred Manetti last month. She did not consult the board before benching the officers and has yet to explain her actions to the public or the trustees.

Most of the trustees said they didn't like being cut out of the process. Three of them - John Ponio, Laurie Rabattini and Don Saville - planned Friday to send Herrmann a pair of letters requesting Sciarrone and Manetti get their jobs back.

"We heartily disagree with your opinion that we trustees are not part of your decision making process," both letters read.

The letters cite village statutes that indicate the mayor overstepped her powers by suspending the officers without consulting the board.

According to one statute, the police chief "shall serve at the discretion of the mayor and board of trustees," not merely the mayor.

Additionally, part-time officers are appointed by the mayor "subject to the advice and consent of the board of trustees." Likewise, part-time police officers may be terminated by the mayor but only "subject to the advice and consent of the board of trustees."

Herrmann declined to comment.

The letters follow a two-hour, closed-door village board meeting Thursday night in which trustees discussed the police personnel changes.

They'd hoped to question Herrmann about her decisions, but she deliberately skipped the meeting.

Saville doesn't believe the letters will have any effect on Herrmann's decisions.

"(But) people have to stand up and be counted," he said.

Rabattini also doubted Herrmann will reverse her position because of the letters.

"At least we've said how we feel publicly," she said.

Trustees Connie Mascillino and Don Verciglio attended Thursday's meeting but did not sign the letters.

Although Verciglio believes Herrmann should have told the trustees why she suspended the officers, he said Herrmann had the right to take such action and won't ask for them to be reinstated.

Mascillino declined to comment on the letters.

Trustee Donna O'Malley did not attend the meeting, and on Friday said she hadn't seen the letters.

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<ul class="links">

<li><a href="/story/?id=360426">Island Lake mayor won't explain suspension <span class="date">[02/19/10]</span></a></li>

<li><a href="/story/?id=359308">Island Lake mayor suspends police chief <span class="date">[02/15/10]</span></a></li>