Island Lake cop gets new $60,000-a-year job
A part-time Island Lake police officer with political ties to Mayor Charles Amrich and his allies on the village board was awarded a full-time municipal job by that panel Thursday night.
Wayne Schnell will earn up to $60,000 a year as the town's new building commissioner and code enforcement official. He'll receive employment benefits, too.
Schnell, 63, of unincorporated McHenry County, ran Amrich's successful election campaign in spring 2013. Trustees Mark Beeson, Keith Johns and Tony Sciarrone were part of Amrich's slate and benefited from Schnell's campaign work, too.
Schnell was hired as the village's code-enforcement officer in June 2013 after Amrich and his team took office. He has been working as the town's interim building commissioner since January.
He got the full-time job during Thursday's board meeting over the objections of Johns and Trustee Thea Morris, both of whom questioned Schnell's qualifications for the post.
Morris also blasted Amrich for nominating Schnell without interviewing any of the 20-plus applicants.
"I think it's completely unethical," Morris said. "It is very clear that this position was custom-created for a specific individual."
In response, Amrich said, "Everybody is entitled to their own opinion."
The other four trustees voted to give Schnell the job. He was promptly sworn in.
The previous building inspector, Frank DeSort, retired in December. Amrich gave Schnell the building department job on an interim basis without a board vote, officials said.
Schnell first served as a part-time police officer in Island Lake from 2006 to 2010.
He resigned in 2010 after an internal investigation into his behavior, documents indicate. He was cleared by a follow-up investigation in 2013.
Schnell, now the lone building department employee, later thanked officials for their confidence in him.