Island Lake officials investigating three police promotions

Island Lake officials are investigating if the town's three police sergeants were promoted to that rank properly.

The three officers — David Walz, Nick Deuter and Garrett Schmoeller — still have their stripes and remain on the job, Mayor Charles Amrich said Friday.

But the village's attorney, David McArdle, has recommended the officers be removed from the sergeant positions and for the local fire and police commission to fill the jobs with eligible candidates.

McArdle made that recommendation to Amrich and village trustees in a July 9 memo acquired by the Daily Herald.

In the memo, McArdle said none of the three sergeants were appointed to their posts by the fire and police commission as required by law.

None of the three sergeants could be reached for comment Friday.

According to McArdle's memo, Deuter and Schmoeller became sergeants in 2011 and Walz got his stripes in 2012.

William McCorkle was the police chief at the time.

McCorkle was replaced by Don Bero after Amrich was elected in 2013.

Of the three sergeants, only Walz remains on the department's eligibility list because he tested for promotion less than three years ago, McArdle wrote in his memo. Deuter and Schmoeller are ineligible now but can take promotional testing when it's offered again, McArdle wrote.

According to Amrich, the inquiry was started by the fire and police commission, which oversees police department hirings and some promotions.

The inquiry has nothing to do with the sergeants' job performance.

“They have done no wrong,” Amrich said.

Bero declined to comment about the investigation.

“I'm not involved with that,” he said.

Fire commission leader Donna O'Malley couldn't be reached for comment.

The agenda for the July 10 village board meeting included an item about police-department vacancies, but the issue was not discussed publicly at the meeting.

Trustee Mark Beeson said officials “are being careful” as they look into the matter.

“We have a lot of talking to do,” Beeson said. “We have a lot of looking to do.”

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