Ex-cop stays on payroll
A Superior police captain who relinquished his job will stay on the city's payroll until the end of June. At the end of June, the city will pay out about 484 hours of paid time off earned, according to the separation agreement signed by former Capt.
A Superior police captain who relinquished his job will stay on the city's payroll until the end of June.
At the end of June, the city will pay out about 484 hours of paid time off earned, according to the separation agreement signed by former Capt. Chad La Lor.
"The agreement provides Mr. La Lor to remain in paid status through June 30, 2012, which was estimated to be an equivalent offset of the 37.77 months of paid health insurance that he had banked and will be losing," said Human Resources Manager Cammi Konezny.
The city will pay an estimated 960 hours in compensation for the period of Jan. 13 to June 30, starting when La Lor was placed on paid administrative leave after allegations surfaced that La Lor provided untruthful testimony during a Police and Fire Commission hearing in November.
La Lor denies the allegation.
During that hearing in November, La Lor was questioned about drunk driving incidents prior to March 2009 after he admitted to driving drunk when he was involved in a hit and run accident.
"I don't believe I have," La Lor testified in November, responding to questions about how many times he had driven drunk before the March 2009 accident.
"Chad La Lor had a distinguished career at our department," said Police Chief Charles LaGesse. However, he said, the hit and run in 2009 marred his career. Recent allegations of prior drunk driving incidents and questions about the truthfulness of his testimony led to an investigation and a referral to the District Attorney for consideration of charges, LaGesse said.
While the investigation is complete, the case remains open as the district attorney in Bayfield County considers charges; none had been filed as of press time.
La Lor was made aware of the issues and ramifications on his ability to function as a captain, LaGesse said.
"He was presented with a separation agreement that I feel was fair based on his length of service and accumulated post-retirement health care that he had earned through turning over vacation time at the end of each year," the chief said. "His decision to separate from the department was voluntary and made after he had time to reflect on all the issues ... I find it extremely unfortunate that such a talented and hardworking member of the department had his career cut short. However, all members of the department are expected to act responsibly, both on and off duty. The allegations of providing false testimony, while unproven, impacted his ability to serve as a commander in this department."
While La Lor will remain on the city's health and dental plans through the end of June, those benefits will transfer to a COBRA plan for up to 18 months, paid for with earned post-retirement benefits, according to the agreement.
Over the course of La Lor's 18-year career with the Superior Police Department, he had banked 111.54 paid leave days equaling 55.77 months of paid health insurance, Konezny said.
Had La Lor retired from the city, he would have been able to use all that banked time to cover health insurance costs. However, since he resigned, he is limited to 18 months and will lose most of the paid time off earned and banked, Konezny said.
Under the agreement, city officials also agreed to provide only a neutral employment reference that includes verifying his position, dates of employment and rate of pay. Any additional information could be released only with La Lor's written consent or when required by public records law.
LaGesse is required to issue a standing order to refer any requests for employment references concerning La Lor directly to him.
"I don't wish to get into a back and forth regarding the situation," La Lor wrote in an email response to the Telegram. He said he stands by his statement made last week: "... it has become painfully obvious that the environment for me at the department is untenable," La Lor stated last week in an email. "Life is far too short to spend as much time as we do at work in an atmosphere such as this."
The city won't contest unemployment compensation, according to the agreement. However, the agreement also strips La Lor of all legal recourse he might have for damages against the city or any of its employees.
"This agreement was believed to be fair to both parties as it also avoided the added cost of a Police and Fire Commission hearing," Konezny said.
The hearing held in November to consider termination of a police officer -- something the police chief has no authority to do -- cost the city almost $37,142.
"Lacking a voluntary separation from the department, it was my intention to bring this matter in front of the Police and Fire Commission," LaGesse said. "I feel that the investigation conducted showed that there was a basis to the allegations of perjury."