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Local News

Joliet plans to put suspended police officer back to work

What Officer Crowley will do has not been decided

Joliet plans to bring back suspended police Officer Nicholas Crowley back to work in a non-police assignment. Crowley is accused of violating police policy by posing in uniform with his department-issued gun drawn (left) and also has been indicted for reckless discharge of a firearm for a separate incident.
Joliet plans to bring back suspended police Officer Nicholas Crowley back to work in a non-police assignment. Crowley is accused of violating police policy by posing in uniform with his department-issued gun drawn (left) and also has been indicted for reckless discharge of a firearm for a separate incident.

JOLIET – Suspended police officer Nicholas Crowley will be called back to work for a job yet to be determined, City Manager David Hales said Tuesday.

Hales also said the city will make it a practice to find alternative work for employees put on leave with pay, although that is not being done in the case of the city collector, who has been on paid leave since October.

Crowley, who has been indicted for reckless discharge of a firearm and faces trial May 14, won’t work in the police department, Hales said.

Hales did not mention Crowley by name at the Tuesday city council meeting.

Neither did Mayor Bob O’Dekirk, but it was obvious who the mayor was talking about at the April 3 council meeting when he called for a police officer under indictment and collecting pay since being suspended in July to be put back to work in some capacity.

When O’Dekirk asked for an update Tuesday, Hales said Crowley will be put “on light duty going forward. It will be in a non-police department capacity.”

Hales said after the meeting that he expects Crowley to be back to work within a week.

“The exact duties he’ll be performing have yet to be determined,” Hales said. “But he will not be acting in the capacity of a police officer.”

Hales said Police Chief Brian Benton will be in charge of calling Crowley to work.

“We’ll take care of that first thing in the morning,” Benton said.

Crowley is estimated to have collected about $52,000 since being put on paid leave in July after being arrested in connection with allegedly firing a gun into the ceiling of his girlfriend’s home.

At the time, he had already been recommended for a suspension after being found to have violated department policy by posing in uniform holding his police firearm in a Snapchat photo.

Hales told the council that it will be the practice to find alternative work “as much as possible” for employees who are put on leave from normal duties.

However, when asked after the meeting about City Collector Rosa Ramirez, who has been on leave since October, Hales said there were no plans to find alternative work for her.

City officials have refused to discuss the reasons for Ramirez being placed on leave.

Hales said Ramirez’s circumstances were different than that of Crowley, noting that Crowley had been charged with a crime. He acknowledged that Ramirez, too, was placed on paid leave but would not elaborate.

“We are proactively trying to resolve that as soon as possible and bring that to a closure,” he said.

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