By Gail Peckler-Dziki

The Salem Lakes Police and Fire Commission went into closed session at its Oct. 19 regular meeting to review complaints made by three people against fire department leadership.

Commission member Chris Dreyer led the meeting in the absence of chairman Greg Galich.

The complaints were filed with the village clerk, Cindy Dulaney, according to department policy and she sent the complaints to the PFC.

Although the three complainants were named, the specific of each complaint was not made public.

Both Salem Lakes Fire Chief Mike Slover and Battalion Chief Mike Murdoch, in attendance at the meeting, asked questions about the discovery meeting and the final hearing.

When the commission came out of the closed session, Dreyer had Village Attorney Rich Scholze explain decisions that were made.

The commission determined they had no authority to hear the complaint made by Jill Torres, since that incident occurred before the consolidation of the former Town of Salem and Village of Silver Lake into the Village of Salem Lakes.

The commission also decided that since Virginia Randolph did not follow department procedure, which consists of bringing the complaint to fire department leadership first, they could not hear her complaint at this time.

When the PFC first began to review fire department policies and procedures, Galich and Slover had several discussions about when a complaint should go before the commission.

Galich believed any complaint could go directly to him as commission chairman.

Slover, however, was adamant that according to standard complaint procedure, complaints must go through the chain of command, if no resolution is met, the complaint could go to commission.

“A fire department is like a paramilitary organization,” Slover said. “The chain of command is important. To ignore that is to weaken the organization and prevent us from doing our job.”

The third complaint, made by Mike Keske, will be heard. Galich and commission member Shirley Boening were named as a subcommittee to undertake a type of discovery meeting, which has not been scheduled, but will occur prior to the Dec. 7 hearing.

At that meeting, the subcommittee will learn what evidence and witnesses Keske will bring to the hearing.

Slover and Murdock were told by Scholze that they would present evidence and a witness list at that time.

Also at that time, the sharing of evidence will be discussed. Murdock asked if he would be able to get a copy of the recording of the meeting that Keske claims to have.

The Dec. 7 hearing has been set for 7 p.m. at the fire/highway building located on Highway C. The regular PFC meeting will be held after that hearing.


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