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Tuesday, 22 December 2015 13:49

Beloit police chief, deputy chief agree to buyout

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BELOIT -- Who will lead Beloit’s police department now that Chief Norm Jacobs and Deputy Chief Tom Dunkin have agreed to leave at the end of January? That decision is in the hands of the Beloit Police and Fire Commission.

Jacobs and Dunkin agreed Monday to part ways with the city after the two sides hammered out a separation agreement. The agreement avoids what could have been a lengthy termination hearing that was set to begin Jan. 7, 2016.

The two will remain on paid leave until Jan. 31, 2016, when they will retire.

Jacobs’ buyout will be $108,594.24.

That includes a severance payment of $64,758.05, unused vacation pay of $28,892.05 and a sick leave amount of $14,944.14.

Dunkin’s buyout will be  $96,312.72.

That will include a severance payment of $56,912.41, unused vacation pay of  $26,266.68 and a sick leave amount of $13,133.63.

Both men will be eligible for retiree health benefits, however, they cannot seek further employment with the city.

Neither can apply for unemployment, and any job reference will include only the dates of employment, positions held and that they retired voluntarily.

"These settlement agreements bring a final resolution, mitigating the time, resources and costs necessary to pursue the charges before the Police and Fire Commission and any future litigation," City Manager Lori Curtis Luther said in a news release. "With this finality, we now have the ability to officially move forward and continue on our path of enhancing leadership, strengthening community relations and transitioning to modern-day policing."

By law, there is a seven-day revocation period for both parties and the signed agreements will become effective Monday, Dec. 28, 2015, assuming neither party revokes the agreement, according to a news release from the city.

The charges that Curtis Luther filed with the police and fire commission Oct. 13, 2015, will then be withdrawn.

The selection of a new police chief is up to the police and fire commission and no further comment on the selection process will be made from the city manager, according to the news release.

Concerns about management in the department first were addressed by former City Manager Larry Arft, who recommended early this year that the city hire a consultant to do a review of the department.

By a vote of 6-0, the city council on Feb. 24, 2015, approved hiring Hillard Heintze to do the assessment of the police department.

Arft retired June 3, 2015 and incoming Curtis Luther began her job June 1, 2015.

Jacobs and Dunkin were placed on administrative leave June 16 after Curtis Luther read a draft of a consultant’s report on the management of the department.

An internal investigation of the department’s management also was launched at that time.

Dave Zibolski was hired as interim police chief and has swiftly moved to implement significant changes in the management structure and culture.

Jacobs and Dunkin were notified Oct. 8 that Curtis Luther was forwarding charges seeking dismissal of the two men.

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