Darien police chief returns from leave
DARIEN Darien Police Chief Hunter Gilmore returned Monday from a week of paid leave he took so the village board could clarify the "lines of authority" between the chief and village administration.
The village released the information in a news release Monday, five days after a closed session meeting where the board "put in place clear directives and expectations concerning authority and responsibility for the administration and the chief."
Gilmore had "voluntarily agreed to temporarily step away from his duties" so the village could work through some of the issues between the chief and the administration, according to the release.
Village Administrator Diana Dykstra said Gilmore was away from the job from Oct. 5 until Monday.
"The village board believes much of the conflict which existed resulted from a lack of clear direction and lines of authority as between the administration and the chief," the news release reads. "Without that clear direction, conflicts between individuals with strongly held beliefs about what is in the best interests of the village become inevitable."
A 2011 organizational chart shows the village administrator is the direct supervisor of the police chief, the superintendent of public works, the deputy clerk-treasurer and a part-time administrative assistant.
The administrator, who also serves a clerk-treasurer, answers to the village board and the board's president.
When asked about the organization chart, village attorney Brad Lochowitz said he couldn't comment.
It's unclear if those "directives and expectations" are general and would apply to anyone serving as chief, or if they are specific and apply only to Gilmore.
Lochowitz said he could not comment on that issue.
The uncertain relationship between the chief and the village dates back several months.
-- Aug. 27: A joint personnel and village board meeting is held behind closed doors to "review the performance of the police chief."
-- Oct. 4: The village announces it plans to hold a closed session meeting to consider potential charges against the chief of police. Later that day, the item is removed from the meeting agenda.
-- Oct. 5: Lochowitz tells The Gazette that Gilmore still is the chief.
-- Oct. 10: The village board meets in closed session to confer with "counsel regarding police department issues."
The Gazette was unable to reach Gilmore for comment Monday.