State

Sycamore police chief resigns after Elgin police officer 'un-arrested'

City agrees to pay three months' salary, plus almost 12 weeks in other time

Sycamore Police Chief Glenn Theriault addresses concerned parents at a meeting in March 2015. Theriault resigned as the city's police chief on Monday, in the wake of an investigation into an incident where an Elgin police officer was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence but later released without charges.
Sycamore Police Chief Glenn Theriault addresses concerned parents at a meeting in March 2015. Theriault resigned as the city's police chief on Monday, in the wake of an investigation into an incident where an Elgin police officer was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence but later released without charges.

SYCAMORE – Glenn Theriault resigned as Sycamore’s chief of police Monday, almost two months after an incident in which an Elgin police officer arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence was later released without charges.

The Sycamore City Council agreed Monday to accept Theriault’s resignation in exchange for three months’ salary and almost another three months’ worth of pay for unused vacation, sick and compensatory time. According to the agreement, the city also will release Theriault from any liability as a result of his employment with the city. That includes in connection with an April 8 incident in which an Elgin police officer, whom Theriault knew, was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence and later released without charges after Theriault was alerted.

Theriault, who earned more than $110,000 a year as chief, will receive a lump sum payment of $39,421 to cover three months’ salary and four months’ insurance benefits. He also will be paid for 11 weeks and two days’ worth of vacation, compensatory and sick time. The agreement did not detail how much Theriault would be paid for that time, but if paid at his hourly rate, it would be more than $24,000 more.

The agreement also states that the city will not interfere with Theriault’s potential eligibility for unemployment.

The council voted unanimously to approve the agreement after entering a closed session after Monday’s regular meeting.

Mayor Curt Lang said Deputy Chief Jim Winters will continue to assume Theriault’s duties while City Manager Brian Gregory begins the process of hiring a new chief.

Theriault worked for Elgin police for 20 years, rising to the rank of commander before joining the Sycamore force as chief in January 2015.

Theriault had worked with Elgin Police Sgt. Mark Whaley for several years, when both were members of the Elgin Police Department. Documents and video obtained by the Daily Chronicle through the Freedom of Information Act showed that Whaley was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence early on April 8, only to be “un-arrested” and released without charges hours later. Theriault was alerted to the stop and went to the police station that night, records show. 

The city hired Lansing-based REM Management Services to investigate the incident, records show. The management consulting firm includes two veteran law enforcement officers who are former police chiefs. Theriault had been on paid leave since April 10 as the city investigated the incident. He was given 21 days to consider the agreement, which stipulates that he will not make any claims against the city, including for age discrimination.

A news release from Sycamore city officials included a statement from Theriault in which he expressed his gratitude for being able to serve in the role.

“I want to thank the city of Sycamore, its mayor, City Council and city manager for the opportunity to lead the men and women of the Sycamore Police Department in service to our community,” Theriault said in the statement.

“I wish the best of luck to this wonderful community and its future chief of police.”

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