Island Lake police sergeants could keep posts, village officials say

 
 
Updated 9/10/2014 12:14 PM

Island Lake officials will let two police sergeants who may have been improperly promoted to that rank retest for their jobs.

Sgt. Nick Deuter and Sgt. Garrett Schmoeller will maintain the rank of sergeant on a temporary basis, said Debra Jenkins, a member of the village's fire and police commission.

 

An officer can be named a temporary sergeant for up to 60 days, twice per calendar year, Jenkins said.

The commission, which oversees police department hirings and promotions, met Tuesday to discuss the controversy. Although it was an option, the panel opted not to strip Deuter and Schmoeller of their stripes.

"We appointed them tonight as temporary sergeants so the department isn't thrown into chaos," Jenkins told the Daily Herald in an email after the meeting.

Neither Deuter nor Schmoeller attended the discussion. They will be notified of the panel's decision by mail, Jenkins said.

Contacted by telephone Wednesday, Deuter said he hasn't officially been notified of the commission's decision and declined to comment. Schmoeller declined to comment, too.

Recent research by village attorney David McArdle and the police commission indicates Deuter, Schmoeller and a third officer, David Walz, were promoted improperly.

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None of the three sergeants were appointed to their posts by the police commission, as required by law, village documents indicate.

Deuter and Schmoeller became sergeants in 2011 and Walz got his stripes in 2012.

McArdle recommended Deuter, Schmoeller and Walz be stripped of their rank, and for the police commission to fill the jobs with eligible candidates.

Walz has since been promoted to deputy police chief.

The test is scheduled for late October, Jenkins said. If they take the test, Deuter and Schmoeller would be added to the current eligibility list.

"The commission is doing everything in its power to make this fair for everyone involved," Jenkins said.

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