- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 13, 2015

BELOIT, Wis. (AP) - Beloit’s city manager recommended firing the city’s police chief and deputy chief Tuesday over allegations that attorneys for the officials dismissed as politically motivated and exaggerated.

City Manager Lori Curtis Luther said an investigation found Police Chief Norm Jacobs and Deputy Chief Tom Dunkin failed to perform their duties.

Luther is filing 14 charges with the Police and Fire Commission against Jacobs and 10 charges against Dunkin, the Beloit Daily News (https://bit.ly/1hCNEuj) reported.

“Studying the assessment and investigation, it is clear Chief Jacobs and Deputy Chief Dunkin grossly mismanaged the department, incurring significant liability for the city and the community as a whole. I am recommending to the Police and Fire Commission that they both be terminated,” Luther said.

Jacobs, a 37-year veteran of the department, and Dunkin, a 27-year veteran, were put on administrative leave in June after a consultant’s review raised questions about their management and leadership.

Beloit City Council President Charles Haynes said the entire council supports the city manager’s recommendation.

Haynes said in a statement the investigation and consultant’s report “clearly show that Chief Jacobs and Deputy Chief Dunkin acted as if they were accountable to no one.”

In a joint news release, attorneys for the chief and deputy chief called the charges “politically motivated” and said Jacobs and Dunkin “vigorously dispute” the findings.

“As expected, the charges do not involve any criminal conduct, but surround alleged management issues of the Police Department,” attorneys Robert M. Mihelich and Patrick J. Fiedler said. “The City Manager threatened to destroy these two men if they did not resign. The filing of these exaggerated charges is simply the result of the City Manager acting on her threat.”

In a statement, the city said both Jacobs and Dunkin were found to “lack fundamental knowledge of policing, laws and basic law enforcement management techniques” and showed “a lack of effective leadership.”

Among the allegations against Jacobs and Dunkin are that they tried to hire an unqualified candidate with a felony record, failed to respond to a citizen complaint and mismanaged evidence in the property room.

Jacobs also is accused of violating the Pregnancy Discrimination Act for allegedly saying at a closed session of the Police and Fire Commission that a woman would not be hired because she was pregnant.

Jacobs, who was at the city manager’s news conference, said there are explanations for each of the charges in the complaint, and he looks forward to defending himself.

“There isn’t anybody who cares more about the Beloit Police Department and the city than myself and Tom Dunkin,” Jacobs told the Beloit Daily News.

A public hearing of the Police and Fire Commission must be held between 10 and 30 days after the charges are filed. That hearing has not yet been scheduled.


Information from: Beloit Daily News, https://www.beloitdailynews.com

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