Janesville84°

Town of Delavan police chief fired

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Mike Heine
October 5, 2007
— Town of Delavan Police Chief Andrew Mayer said he’s been fired without cause by the town’s police and fire commission.

“I have been terminated without cause or prior written notice, which I believe is politically motivated for performing my duties as a sworn officer,” Mayer said in a written statement about the commission’s decision Wednesday night.


Mayer had been police chief since February 1999. He declined to comment on what he meant by “politically motivated.”


Mayer’s contract allowed for termination without cause, but he said he didn’t feel he’d done anything to warrant a firing and said he had no problems with any previous town boards.


He declined to share his feelings about the current board.


Deputy Chief Phil Smith’s first duty as acting chief was to inform Mayer of his termination, which he did about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday.


“I’ve had no contact with any town officials,” Mayer said.


Mayer’s attorney, Ray Dall’Osto, received the decision in writing.


“To have a subordinate tell you you are no longer in the position you hold, rather than your employer or superior, that is unusual,” he said of the way Mayer was notified.


Mayer is weighing his options, Dall’Osto said.


The chief worked at the pleasure of the police and fire commission and could be fired at any time, according to Mayer’s most recent contract, signed in 2002.


Commission Chairman Tom Brauer said he could not comment on the firing, saying private information was discussed in a closed meeting.


“It’s my expectation that there was (a reason),” Brauer said.


Town Chairman Wayne Polzin declined to comment, saying it was a matter taken up by the police and fire commission.


Members of the town board were present at the meeting but did not take part in the vote, town attorney Steve Wassel said.


The vote was 3-0, with one abstention and one member absent. Wassel would not say how the committee—made up of Brauer, Carol Ancevic, Robert Read, Todd Wiese and Maria Odling—voted. Read was not present.


Mayer said he is now retired. He declined to speculate if the firing was related to the apparent investigation into alleged tampering with the town clerk’s computer. The police department is in possession of the computer after clerk Dixie Bernsteen reported it was not working and cables were incorrectly connected.


“I have no idea if there is any correlation or connection to that whatsoever,” Brauer said. “That was not brought fourth last night in any way, shape or form.”


Smith will lead the department as interim chief. Brauer expects the town to advertise the opening.



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