Police Chief and Development Director Keep Jobs; though Facts and Employment Policy Mirky

For four months Glen Ellyn leadership has struggled to resolve a moral compass entanglement: what to do when alleged impropriety by two prominent village employees is brought forth?

According to several news accounts published in late October, Chief of Police Norton and the Planning and Development Director Staci Hulseberg had an alleged "improper personal conduct" brought forth to the village manager by the husband of Staci Hulseberg. What remains unclear is what, if any, factual evidence caused the village manager and village president to take action.

In addition to the lack of public evidence, village leadership failed to acknowledge which clause of the village's employment policy was breached if an extra-marital relationship did actually occur. Which brings the obvious question: if there wasn't factual evidence or a clear breach of employment contract why was this matter deliberated for over 4 months, then brought out in public and wrestled with concerned citizens and business owners only further tarnishing the reputations of two respected professionals?

This chapter has created a lose-lose scenario for everyone involved.

The village manager and village president spent countless time and resources pursuing this matter while important issues are sidelined. Their intentions are in question as no evidence or stated breach was introduced publicly. If there was factual evidence and a clear policy breach, this issue would have been quickly resolved by the village board with the termination of these individuals long ago. The 2 village trustees who backed the village manager's position at the beginning of the last meeting, then changed their position seem incongruent in their assessment and judgement on the issue which they have been familiar for over 4 months.

Clearly, the public reputations of the Chief of Police and Planning and Development Director are tarnished. Something must have happened otherwise why would there be 4 months of deliberation by our village manager, village president and the village board?

Concerned residents and business owners have demonstrated that they can point out the deficiencies of the matter (no facts, no breach). Their collective efforts, while appropriate in supporting the two department heads in seeking factual evidence and breach of policy, fail to acknowledgment to the central issue - should the village and its residents expect higher standards of conduct by those in village employment and leadership (say in a hypothetical situation of an extra-marital relationship between a Chief of Police and a Planning Director, or between the Village Manager and the Village President, or some other action altogether)? Suppose if the conduct was drunk driving or child abuse? Does the village have the necessary policies in place to uphold the expectations of personal conduct by village employees and officials?

In a few months, the village residents will formally elect a new village president and 3 trustees. Perhaps their first line of order – if not completed by the current board – is to create a clear policy on standards of conduct for all village employees and elected officials. Hopefully, our village will avoid future embarrassments like this one that only drag the charming reputation of Glen Ellyn down.

Latest news at time of blog:
Embattled Glen Ellyn leaders keep posts

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