Island Lake police sergeant fired for violating departmental rules

 
 
Updated 1/21/2019 3:05 PM
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  • Island Lake police Sgt. Bill Dickerson has been fired.

    Island Lake police Sgt. Bill Dickerson has been fired.

An Island Lake cop with a checkered past and political connections to village hall has been fired.

Sgt. Bill Dickerson, who's been on administrative leave since last fall, was fired Friday for multiple violations of departmental rules, Interim Chief Dan Palmer said.

Palmer declined to elaborate on the actions that led to Dickerson's firing, saying only that they went "beyond what should be tolerated."

Palmer recommended Dickerson be fired and Mayor Charles Amrich upheld the recommendation, the chief said.

Dickerson has 30 days to appeal his firing to the mayor, Palmer said.

Dickerson, 50, of Island Lake, couldn't be reached for comment. His lawyer, Eric J. Miller, said Dickerson is consulting with attorneys and union representatives "to determine the appropriate path moving forward."

"Sgt. Dickerson enjoys serving and protecting the residents of the village of Island Lake and hopes to continue doing so for many years to come," Miller said.

This is the second time Dickerson has been fired as an Island Lake police officer. He started work as an Island Lake police officer in 2009 but was removed from the job in 2010.

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 actively campaigned for Amrich and his slate of candidates ahead of the 2013 village election, frequently criticizing Amrich's political opponents on social media.

Dickerson, who'd claimed he hadn't been properly fired, was reinstated shortly after Amrich was elected. He was promoted to sergeant in 2014.

He received a departmental Life Saving Award in 2013 after he cleared the airway of a teenager who wasn't breathing. He received another Life Saving Award in 2017 for helping to save a suicidal woman.

Dickerson was placed on administrative leave in September 2018 along with then-Chief Anthony Sciarrone. Sciarrone has since been fired, too.

Both firings stem from an investigation by labor attorney Yvette Heintzelman on behalf of the village board. Heintzelman was hired to look into allegations of harassment involving Sciarrone, Dickerson and other officers.

Village Trustee Mark Beeson called Dickerson's firing "long overdue." Officials have received complaints about Dickerson's actions "for quite some time," Beeson said, declining to elaborate further.

Additionally, part-time police officer Joseph Rivera, who also was the subject of Heintzelman's investigation, has resigned, Palmer said. Rivera had been working as an internal investigator under Sciarrone.

Another part-time officer working as an investigator, Charles Mader, was fired by the village board last year as part of the probe.

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