Former Caseyville police chief Jose Alvarez, suing to regain the job, claims that in a previous position he investigated a harassment claim that resulted in demotion and a pay cut for village trustee Rick Casey Jr.
Robert Jones of Belleville revealed the connection on behalf of Alvarez on Aug. 19, writing that Casey should have abstained from a May 21 decision to fire the chief.
“Mr. Casey was the swing vote, causing the village to wrongfully terminate plaintiff’s employment agreement,” Jones wrote.
Alvarez seeks an order requiring mayor Leonard Black and the trustees to prepare more definite and certain charges, conduct a fair hearing, and vote again.
Circuit Judge Stephen McGlynn has set a Sept. 17 hearing.
Alvarez took the job a year ago, after Caseyville police chief J.D. Roth committed suicide.
Alvarez and Black signed a two year contract, but Black soon fired Alvarez and the trustees backed him up.
Alvarez sued to enforce the contract, and McGlynn ordered Black and the trustees to follow state law in bringing charges and resolving them.
Black and the trustees changed the process and fired Alvarez again, 4-3.
Until last month, Alvarez had not tied his termination to an investigation of Casey that he conducted as an employee of state’s attorney Brendan Kelly.
Jones wrote that Casey was the subject of two equal employment opportunity complaints while he worked for the county highway department.
He wrote that Alvarez was charged with the investigation.
As a result of the investigation, Casey “was demoted with his position as an employee of St. Clair County, and was forced to accept a pay reduction,” Jones wrote.
Jones filed a letter that Alvarez sent to county board chairman Mark Kern on April 25, 2013, finding that a complaint of Raymond Bonds was “overwhelmingly founded.”
He filed a narrative that Bonds kept of insults and threats.
Frank Moore currently acts as Caseyville police chief. The village can’t hire a permanent chief pending further order from McGlynn.