The Joliet police officers removed from their jobs two weeks ago were not exactly fired and are still collecting pay, the city attorney said.
They each have annual salaries of $106,770.
The disciplinary actions taken Jan. 11 by Police Chief Al Roechner essentially amounted to a recommended firing, Interim City Attorney Chris Regis said.
“The police chief recommended firing. They have an appeals process,” Regis said. “No decision is final until the police and fire board makes it final.”
Regis said that the
officers “have been stripped of their police powers”
and are not working but
will be paid through the appeals process.
“That’s by state statute,” he said. “The police chief does not have the power to fire anyone. He recommends to the police and
Regis would not estimate how long the appeals could take, but he did say the process is “like any other case” involving the type of discovery and preparation that would precede a court proceeding.
The hearing has not yet been scheduled.
The fire and police board meets monthly, and Chairman Herb Lande said he did not expect the appeals hearing to be completed in one meeting.
Lande said the hearing would be public, although the board may deliberate privately.
“All our meetings are open to the public,” he said.
That could provide the first open look into the reasons for the firings, which city and police officials have not discussed publicly.