Amrich calls resignations by Island Lake’s lawyer, police chief ‘smart’

Island Lake Mayor-elect Charles Amrich on Monday called the recently announced resignations of Police Chief William McCorkle and attorneys from the Ancel Glink law firm smart decisions.

“Because otherwise they would have been terminated,” Amrich said.

Amrich’s contempt for McCorkle and the Ancel Glink team hasn’t been a secret. He promised to fire them shortly after he won election earlier this month, and those personnel moves were to have been among his first actions upon taking office May 9.

Ancel Glink has represented Island Lake since 2005. McCorkle has been police chief since March 2010.

Illinois law allows a mayor to appoint or dismiss village attorneys and police chiefs, as long as the moves have the support of the village board.

With three allies taking seats on the six-member board May 9, Amrich will have majority control of the panel. His vote will break any ties.

Amrich, the town’s mayor from 1985 to 2005, said he has a candidate for police chief but declined to identify the eventual nominee. Amrich said he had several potential chiefs in mind but didn’t interview anyone for the job.

He described his preferred candidate as a person “with a respected background in law enforcement.”

Amrich also is set to recommend a new law firm to represent the village’s interests, but again he declined to name the team.

“You’ll find out on the ninth of May,” he said.

Amrich crushed incumbent Mayor Debbie Herrmann in the April 9 election. His allies — Trustees-elect Mark Beeson, Keith Johns and Tony Sciarrone and Clerk-elect Teresa Ponio — won by wide margins over Herrmann’s slate mates, too.

Reducing Island Lake’s legal bills, which have totaled hundreds of thousands of dollars in recent years, was a big part of Team Amrich’s campaign. The candidates also were critical of McCorkle’s performance and leadership ability since he replaced Sciarrone as chief. Sciarrone was demoted and later retired.

Amrich has said he wants a chief who spends time in the community and not behind a desk in the police station.

McCorkle and lead attorney Julie Tappendorf announced their resignations in separate letters to the village. The documents were released to the media Friday.

Tappendorf’s letter was dated April 25. McCorkle’s was dated April 5 — four days before the election.

McCorkle was a part-time Island Lake police officer before being named chief.

In an interview Monday, McCorkle said he’s leaving the village for a different job opportunity. He declined to elaborate but said he planned to move on regardless of who won the mayoral race.

Trustee Shannon Fox — a Herrmann ally who wasn’t up for election this year — said she wasn’t surprised McCorkle and the attorneys quit before they could be fired.

She supported the work McCorkle and Tappendorf have done for Island Lake.

“I’m sorry for the village to lose two people who have been so beneficial and so professional in how they provided services,” Fox said.

Beeson said he was happy Tappendorf and McCorkle opted to resign.

“I found it convenient that we didn’t have to struggle with them,” Beeson said. “We don’t need any unnecessary drama. They simply did the right thing.”

Beeson said the group has been meeting weekly to discuss the village’s future.

“We feel like it’s a new day for the town and we hope we can make some really positive change,” he said.

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Charles Amrich
  Island Lake Police Chief William McCorkle is resigning effective May 9. Paul Valade/, 2011
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