Island Lake police chief put on administrative leave during investigation
Island Lake Police Chief Anthony Sciarrone has been placed on administrative leave pending an internal investigation into the department, officials confirmed Friday.
Police Sgt. Billy Dickerson also was placed on leave as part of the same inquiry, and more action is possible as it continues, Trustee Mark Beeson said.
Former Bartlett Police Chief Dan Palmer has been named Island Lake's interim chief. Palmer also served as emergency services director in Hanover Township and most recently has worked for the Gold Shield Detective Agency.
Beeson said he was "pleased" to see a shake-up in police leadership and hoped it would lead to "positive change" in the department.
Neither Sciarrone nor Dickerson could be reached for comment Friday.
The personnel moves stem from an investigation being undertaken by attorney Yvette Heintzelman on behalf of the village board.
Heintzelman, who specializes in labor matters, was hired two weeks ago to investigate allegations of harassment involving the police department and village employees.
Lake County State's Attorney Michael Nerheim said he would not confirm or deny his office also is investigating the Island Lake Police Department.
Mayor Charles Amrich placed Sciarrone on leave Thursday. Later that night, the village board voted to hire Palmer as interim chief.
Palmer subsequently put Dickerson on leave.
Amrich couldn't be reached for comment Friday.
Both Sciarrone and Dickerson have checkered professional histories in Island Lake.
Sciarrone has been Island Lake's police chief since 2015. He resigned from the village board to take the job.
Sciarrone previously was an Island Lake police officer for 29 years and served as interim chief from 2008 to 2010.
He left the department in 2011 under a cloud, however. He'd been placed on administrative leave by then-Mayor Debbie Herrmann in 2010 and later was demoted to sergeant.
After being removed as interim chief, Sciarrone was accused by three officers of earlier threatening violence against them or village officials. In a 2013 interview, Sciarrone said the comments attributed to him were made without any intent to harm.
No charges were filed.
Sciarrone was elected to the village board in 2013 as part of Amrich's slate, and it was Amrich who named him chief two years later.
Dickerson started working as an Island Lake police officer in 2009 but was removed from the job in 2010. He was reinstated in 2013 after Amrich was elected.
Dickerson actively campaigned for Amrich and his slate in 2013.
In 2011, while not working as a police officer, Dickerson was arrested by Island Lake police and charged with misdemeanor domestic battery after an incident at his home. Dickerson pleaded guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct in October 2012 and was sentenced to six months of court supervision.
Dickerson received a departmental Life Saving Award in 2013 after he cleared the airway of a teenager who wasn't breathing and another last year for helping to save a suicidal woman.
Dickerson was promoted to sergeant in 2014.
Palmer said he already has met with many of his officers. He's aware of these and other controversies that have dogged the department.
"I have to wade through it all, understand it and keep moving forward," Palmer said.