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Monday, 12 October 2015 12:24

City manager seeks firing of chief, deputy chief, attorneys say

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BELOIT -- The Beloit city manager intends to have the police chief and deputy chief fired, according to a joint news release from attorneys representing the two men.

Beloit Police Chief Norm Jacobs and Deputy Chief Tom Dunkin were notified last Thursday, Oct. 8, 2015 that City Manager Lori Curtis Luther intends to file charges against the two men with the Beloit Police and Fire Commission seeking their termination, according to attorney Robert Mihelich, who represents Jacobs and Attorney Patrick Fiedler who represents Dunkin.

"The final charges have not been provided to Chief Jacobs or Deputy Chief Dunkin," read the statement. "However, they are aware that the allegations involve the management of the
police department. Both Chief Jacobs and Deputy Chief Duncan have fully
cooperated throughout the investigative process."

Jacobs and Dunkin were placed on administrative leave June 16, 2015 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.

The draft report has not been released.

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

Zibolski outlined those changes during a news conference Friday, Oct. 9, 2015, but did not indicate at the time that he was aware the city manager intended to file charges.

However, the hastily scheduled news conference was announced after 5 p.m. the night before, which is unusual for non-breaking news press conferences. Zibolski shrugged off the brief advance notice, saying they only had just completed their preparations for the news conference.

The attorney statement says that the city manager has been using the investigation and threat of charges to coerce the two men into resigning.

"The ultimate decision as to the disposition of any charges brought by the City Manager is up to the Beloit Police and Fire Commission," according to the statement. 'Both of these officers look forward to demonstrating that the unilateral action of the City Manager in suspending them was without authority
and without just cause.

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