Deputy Bob Schlenkert, fired by McHenry County Sheriff Keith Nygren for not following an order to complete basic police academy for a second time, has won his reinstatement court case in the 2nd Appellate Court.
Stunning is the length of time between oral arguments and the decision’s announcement—three days.
Justices Robert McLaren, John Bowman and Michael Burke must have thought it an open and shut case.
Schlenkert explained the chronology that, once the litigation is concluded, will lead to his being paid two and a half year’s back salary, plus interest. At some $80,000 a year, that will cost county taxpayers probably something close to $300,000.
Plus legal fees to defend Sheriff Nygren’s firing.
“in 2005, he tried to keep me out for medical reasons and, basically, the doctors all sided with me but the one who started the thing.
“They tried to send me back to the basic police academy and because I didn’t pass the power test, he said I didn’t follow an order and, then, fired me for not following the order. (One of the Appellate Court Justices pointed out that the McHenry County Sheriff’s Department doesn’t have physical hiring requirements after hiring.)
“Then, I filed an administrative review on the Sheriff’s Merit Commission decision to follow the Sheriff’s recommendation to fire me.
“It took the circuit court a year to make a decision, but the decision reversed the Merit Commission’s ruling.
“Then, he appealed and I waited another fifteen months.
“Oral arguments were on March 23rd. They made a very quick decision they were wrong.”
You can listen to the oral arguments here.
Thanks to McHenry County Sheriff’s Department Exposed for pointing me to those arguments.