Three part-time officers were temporarily laid off in the process. Now, a police union is fighting back for those part-timers.
"The move to temporarily lay off three part-time police officers seemed logical for the city of Lexington and its mayor, John Mohr. But now, the city is facing a grievance from the Illinois Council of Police.
"We're making decisions that are consistent with our collective bargaining agreement,” explained Mohr. “The city has complete and total authority to schedule hours of protection that we see as necessary."
ICOP officials say the officers cannot be fired without just cause. They say the city should have named a temporary replacement, possibly one of those part-timers.
But Mohr says investigations by the county sheriff's departments found that both former chief Dave Schneider and his assistants had failed to properly complete all their reports.
"We're going to take a look at that, and make sure that these cases, which they have victims in the city of Lexington, and we're trying to find a resolution to them,” said Mohr.
Mohr says the grievances are a way to get the two sides talking, but ICOP officials say they want to make sure that the police officers get their back pay from the time they were laid off.
"We're exercising our rights under the contract, and that will be satisfactory to them, and we'll move ahead with hiring a police chief, and we can raise the level of performance,” said Mohr.
In the meantime, the county sheriff's department will continue to fill in on patrols throughout the city. McLean County Sheriff Mike Emery says the deputies will be here as long as they're needed.
In all, ICOP officials say they filed seven grievances against the City of Lexington. Some were regarding pay and others involved being laid off.
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