Janesville63.6°

Darien dismisses police chief

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ANN MARIE AMES
March 8, 2009
— The Darien Village Board on Saturday morning dismissed Police Chief Steve DeVoy.

DeVoy will remain a paid employee of the village pending a hearing, said William Stanley, a Madison attorney hired by the village.


As a law enforcement officer, DeVoy has the right to a hearing, although a hearing has not yet been scheduled nor have people been named to conduct the hearing, Stanley said.


DeVoy has been suspended with pay since Dec. 1.


The vote to discharge was the result of four charges:


-- Conducting unauthorized surveillance of village offices.


-- Violating the village employee manual by placing and sharing offensive and obscene material on the department e-mail system, installing unauthorized software on the system and deleting material that was required to be retained.


-- Creating a hostile work environment and exposing the village to liability by conducting an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate employee.


-- Failing to provide leadership for the department.


DeVoy declined to comment, and The Janesville Gazette was unable to reach DeVoy’s attorney for comment.


Saturday’s vote, made after more than an hour of closed-session discussion, was not unanimous.


Before the discharge vote, board member Craig McCue moved to reinstate DeVoy and to discipline him internally and “keep all this from being a public display.”


Board member Allen Kenyon seconded McCue’s motion. They were the only two to support the motion and the only two to vote against dismissing DeVoy.


The “all this” McCue was referring to is unclear.


The village has not been talking about the reasons for DeVoy’s suspension, and the document listing the four charges is the first information the board has shared publicly since DeVoy was suspended.


Through the Wisconsin Open Records Law, the Gazette has requested copies of the information that supports the charges. The Gazette has received copies of the documents regarding the installation of the cameras but still is waiting on documents supporting the other charges.


According to Walworth County Sheriff’s Office documents, Det. Michael Banaszynski installed the cameras Nov. 22 after DeVoy turned to the sheriff’s office for help. DeVoy suspected village board President Bob Metzner and Darien Sgt. Mike Maltese of searching through police records, according to sheriff’s office documents.


DeVoy placed “bait” on his desk—a manila envelope bearing Metzner’s name, but the cameras did not record anyone touching the bait, according to sheriff’s office documents.


The sheriff’s office dismissed the case as unfounded.



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