Island Lake reinstates rec supervisor suspended over bar fight

  • Karen Luebbers got her job back in Island Lake after she was suspended for six months after police charged her with instigating a bar fight.

    Karen Luebbers got her job back in Island Lake after she was suspended for six months after police charged her with instigating a bar fight.

By John Kelly | Daily Herald Correspondent
Updated 6/18/2011 11:19 AM

Island Lake trustees have reinstated Karen Luebbers as the village's recreation department supervisor, ending a six-month suspension that began after police charged her with instigating a bar fight.

With no public discussion, the village board voted unanimously to end Luebbers' unpaid leave at the end of a five-hour meeting Thursday that stretched past midnight.


Trustees noted Luebbers had not been notified of her reinstatement, which is effective Monday. A phone call to Luebbers' home Friday was not immediately returned.

Island Lake police arrested Luebbers in late December on misdemeanor battery charges in connection with a fight earlier that month at Fan Club Sports Bar and Grill. Police said the victim notified them of the altercation, and security footage showed Luebbers, 50, had been the aggressor. A jury trial is scheduled for July 27.

Thursday's unscheduled vote came after Mayor Debbie Herrmann and trustees spent nearly two hours behind closed doors discussing pending litigation and personnel-related matters.

Trustees also voted to promote deputy village clerk Jen Gomez to village clerk, an elected position. The previous clerk, Pam Miller, resigned just before April election -- less than halfway through her term -- citing health issues, personal obligations and the stress of the job.

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Votes on three other mayoral appointments -- Wolfgang Neumeier to the fire and police commission, Allen Murvine to the liquor commission, and Ed McGinty to the police pension board -- were postponed. Herrmann said Trustees Chuck Cermak, Shannon Fox, and Thea Morris, who were sworn in last month, had requested resumes from the appointees.

Murvine narrowly lost his bid this spring to join the village board. Election results had left him tied with Cermak, at 576 votes each. A coin flip settled the matter. Murvine, who left Thursday's meeting before his appointment was postponed, said he wanted to serve on the liquor commission "to stay involved."

Trustees spent three hours working through the agenda, making attempts to override the mayor's recent vetoes, debating village accounting practices and whether to pay legal bills, and reaching agreement to each donate $25 toward Fourth of July festivities.

All three former trustees who did not seek re-election this spring attended and voiced complaints on topics ranging from out-of-control weed growth on Island Lake to an overhead light in the board room that has been flickering since May.

Trustees applauded Gomez for her promotion, which includes a pay increase to $150 a month plus $75 per board meeting -- like Thursday's, which wrapped up around 12:40 a.m. Friday. "I'm going to take a rain check on the celebration," she said.