Because it recognizes the importance of good health and good physical condition to the performance of duties and to the avoidance of injury by deputy personnel, the Merit Commission encourages all deputy personnel to maintain good physical condition by a regimen of exercise and/or other means.
If an emergency exists, the Sheriff may make temporary appointments not to exceed sixty (60) days when necessary and if funds are available, with such actions to be reported to the Merit Commission and the appointment to be made when practicable from lists of eligibles maintained by the Merit Commission.
In cases of financial emergencies in the Sheriff’s Department, the Sheriff shall lay off deputies to rectify such emergency after taking into account employee competence and seniority, subject to appeal to the Merit Commission. The Merit Commission shall make final and binding decisions in cases of appeals.
Deputy personnel who feel that they have a grievance pertaining to work assignments, unfair treatment by superior officers, or other cause, may file a written report or complaint of their grievance with the Sheriff who will settle such grievances subject to review by the Merit Commission.
Should a former member desire to again affiliate himself under the merit system with the Sheriff’s Department, he must once again meet the basic requirements for appointment to the Sheriff’s Department and successfully complete the screening process in competition with all other applicants. Any tenured personnel appointed to fill an unexpired term of Sheriff shall retain his tenured position upon completion of his appointive term.
Leaves of absence without pay may be granted by the Sheriff with consent of the Merit Commission following application in writing by deputy personnel for any of the following reasons:
(A) Extended illness of deputy personnel or some person in their immediate family for whom they must care.
(B) Extended military or naval service of the United States during a period of national emergency.
(C) Training in an institution of higher learning.
(D) Other causes acceptable to the Sheriff with consent of the Commission.
All leaves of absence, except for military service, shall be for a period of one (1) year or less. Leaves of absence without pay shall not be granted to deputy personnel in order for them to transfer to some gainful occupation of their choice and still retain county service as a form of “insurance” in the event the new job proves unsatisfactory. When leave of absence without pay is granted because of illness, all sick leave must be exhausted before leave begins. Deputy personnel who have or have on leave of absence accepted a position other than that for which the leave was granted, without prior approval of the Sheriff with consent of the Commission, shall be deemed to have resigned as a Union County Deputy Sheriff. Deputy personnel who fail to return to their position on or before the expiration date of their leave shall be deemed to have resigned. The Sheriff and the Commission are the sole judges of the appropriateness of the reasons and purposes for which the leave is requested and they alone shall establish the conditions for approval of such a request.
A Deputy Sheriff shall be subject to discharge who shall participate in, or encourage others to participate in, any strike or work stoppage growing out of any dispute of whatever nature relative to wages, terms or conditions of employment.
(A) A Deputy Sheriff may be discharged for participation while on duty during regular or special working hours in any of the following acts:
Participating in the organization of any political meeting;
Soliciting money from any person for any political purpose;
Selling or distributing tickets for political meetings;
Assisting at the polls in behalf of any party or party-designated candidate on any election day;
Using or threatening to use the influence or authority of his position to coerce or to persuade any person to follow any course of political action;
Initiating or circulating any petitions on behalf of a candidate or in support of a political issue;
Making contributions of money in behalf of any candidate for office or any public or political issue;
Distributing campaign literature or material in behalf of any candidate.
(B) A Deputy Sheriff may, while off duty, while not in uniform, and on a voluntary basis, participate in any of the following activities:
Vote as he chooses;
Express his individual opinion on political subjects and candidates;
Engage in partisan political management or campaigning;
Make speeches, write on behalf of a candidate or solicit voters to support or oppose a candidate;
Attend a political meeting or rally, including committee meetings of political organizations, and serve on a committee which organizes or directs activities at a partisan campaign meeting or rally;
Sign nominating petitions for a candidate in a partisan election for public office and originate or circulate such petitions;
Drive voters to the polls;
Make financial contributions to a political party or organization;
Solicit and collect voluntary political contributions.
The use of county-owned vehicles, equipment or supplies in connection with such permitted activities is forbidden and will constitute grounds for discharge.
(C) A Deputy Sheriff may be appointed a Deputy Sheriff while holding a public office or may accept appointment to fill a vacancy in an elective office while concurrently serving as a Deputy Sheriff where no conflict of interest exists.
(D) No Deputy Sheriff shall be required, as a condition of his employment or tenure, to work or make contributions in behalf of any political party or candidate for political office.
Any member of the Sheriff’s Department who shall be found guilty of violating any of the rules and regulations hereinafter set forth shall be subject to disciplinary action by the Sheriff and the Merit Commission.
(A) Complaints. In all cases where the Sheriff desires a subordinate to be disciplined beyond the measures prescribed, he shall file with the Commission in writing a complaint in quintuplicate, setting forth a plain and concise statement of the facts upon which the complaint is based and the specific section or sections of these Rules, Regulations and Procedures which the accused member is charged with violating.
(B) Hearings on Charges. All hearings shall follow these procedures:
All hearings shall be public;
At the time and place of hearing, the Sheriff and the accused may be represented by counsel if either so desires;
All proceedings before the Commission during the hearing shall be recorded by a reporter employed by the Commission;
The record of all hearings before the Commission shall be transcribed by the reporter and placed in the subject’s Merit Board file;
All witnesses shall be sworn by the Commission Chairman or another member of the Commission prior to testifying;
The Commission shall first hear the witnesses substantiating the charges which have been made. Thereafter, the accused may present and examine those witnesses whom he desires the Commission to hear. All parties shall have the right to examine and recall witnesses;
The Commission may hear and consider all relevant evidence and shall not be bound by the strict rules on admissibility of evidence applicable in Courts of law.
(C)Decision on Charges. After the Commission shall have made its findings and determined its order, it shall mail to the accused member by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, a notice of the finding and order of the Commission. A copy of the notice shall be mailed to the Sheriff.
(D) Subpoena. The Sheriff and the accused subordinate, or their respective counsel, may at any time before the hearing, apply to the Commission for subpoena to be directed to specific persons requiring them to produce at the hearing books, papers, records, and such other things as may be relevant at the hearing. The application shall specify the names and addresses of the persons to be subpoenaed and the documents and things which they are required to produce. The requested subpoena will be issued. Subpoena issued by the Commission shall be served by the Sheriff’s Department.
(E)Filing of Papers. For the purpose of these Rules, Regulations and Procedures, the filing date of any paper shall be the date it was received by the Commission office.
(F) Form of Papers.
All papers filed in any proceeding shall be typewritten or printed and shall be on one side of the paper only.
If typewritten, the lines shall be double spaced, except that long quotations shall be a single spaced and indented.
All papers shall be eight and one-half (8 ½) inches wide and eleven (11) inches long and shall have inside margins of not less than one (1) inch.
The original of all papers filed shall be signed in ink by the party filing the paper or by his counsel.
If papers are filed by an attorney, the attorney’s name, address, and telephone number shall appear thereon.
(G)Continuance of Hearing. No hearing shall be continued at the request of any of the parties thereto or their counsel, unless such request is either made orally to the Chairman of the Commission or received in writing at the Merit Commission office in Jonesboro, Illinois, at least five (5) days before the date for which the hearing is scheduled.
(A) By the Sheriff. The Sheriff, without the filing of charges with the Commission, may take the following disciplinary measures for infractions of these Rules, Regulations and Procedures:
Reprimand a subordinate orally;
Reprimand a subordinate in writing and place a copy in his Merit Commission file;
Assign to a subordinate extra duty in his regular assignment or otherwise, with or without pay, not to exceed eight (8) hours in any one (1) week or forty (40) hours in any three (3) month period;
Suspend a subordinate for any reasonable period of time not to exceed a total of thirty (30) days within a twelve (12) month period. The Sheriff may suspend any subordinate for a period in addition to the above limited thirty (30) days only after charges against that member have been filed with the Commission on those charges.
All other disciplinary measures by the Sheriff will become a part of the deputy’s Merit Commission file. No other disciplinary measures shall be taken by the Sheriff except by the Order of the Commission.
(B) If the Commission, after a hearing upon charges, shall make a finding of guilty, it may order any of the following disciplinary measures which in the opinion of the Commission the offense merits:
Suspension for a period not to exceed a total of one hundred eighty (180) days in any twelve (12) month period;
Reduction in rank;
Discharge and removal from the Sheriff’s Department.
(C) If the Commission, after a hearing upon charges, shall make a finding of not guilty, it shall require the Sheriff’s Department to:
Restore the accused to duty forthwith at the rank and position from which he was suspended;
Make provision to continue the accused’s seniority as if it had never been interrupted;
Assure that the accused is properly reimbursed for any loss of salary. The difference between any monies earned at other employment while under suspension and the accused’s regular salary shall provide the basis for such reimbursement. The Commission also hereby prohibits the Sheriff from using his own power of discipline in such a manner as to punish a man who has been found not guilty of charges by the Commission.
Lists of qualified shall be prepared and prominently posted at the completion of each promotional screening by the Commission. These lists shall group the qualified persons. Such lists shall remain in force for two (2) years or until exhausted, whichever is shorter.
To be eligible for promotion to a higher position, a candidate:
(A) Must have served successfully as a Deputy Sheriff for a period of not less than one (1) year.
(B) At the time of examination for promotion, must not be in any of the following categories:
on leave of absence, except for military service; or
on inactive duty due to disability.
(C) Must possess above average performance evaluations for the previous year.
(D) Must be found to be in acceptable physical condition after a thorough medical examination, which examination shall be paid for by the County.
After meeting these minimal standards, the candidate:
Must file a formal application with the Commission;
Take and successfully pass any written, oral, or physical promotional examination for the appropriate rank and position offered by the Commission;
Be adjudged to be qualified and placed upon a list of qualified applicants by the Commission;
Be selected from the qualified list and appointed to the appropriate position and rank by the Sheriff when a vacancy or vacancies exist;
Serve successfully a probationary period of one (1) year during which time he is subject to be returned to his tenured rank by the Sheriff after written notification of cause is filed with the Commission.
All presently employed Deputy Sheriffs shall have full status under the Union County Code creating the Merit Commission, as amended, who have successfully attended an approved course of instruction in law enforcement duties, or do so within twelve (12) months of the effective date of said Code or within that period pass a qualifying examination administered by the Merit Commission. The approved course of instruction is the basic police training course certified by the Illinois Local Governmental Law Enforcement Officers’ Training Board.
The responsibilities of the Merit Commission include:
(A) Preparing and posting prominently a list of all qualified candidates at the completion of each entry screening process. These lists will be maintained for two (2) yearsor until the list is exhausted, whichever comes first. Tests will be held as may be necessary with a qualified candidate able to retain his or her status on said qualified list by advising the Merit Commission of his or her intent to do so.
(B) Notifying all qualified candidates of their acceptability and that they are being placed on the qualified list.
(C) Within fifteen (15) days, any qualified candidate who declines to accept an appointment will be replaced for said appointment by another qualified candidate. A refusal to accept an appointment does not constitute grounds for removal from the qualified list.
In considering applicants, the Merit Commission:
(A) May give preference to persons who have honorably served in the military or naval services of theUnited States.
(B) May certify for appointment as a Deputy Sheriff more persons than there are vacancies to be filled at the time of such certification. In such cases, the Sheriff may initially select from this group those to fill the existing vacancies and shall, from date of certification, as additional vacancies occur, appoint others from the remaining group;
(C) Is authorized to waive one or more of the requirements set forth herein for applicants who have served in and been honorably discharged from any branch of the military service, or who have served with another Sheriff’s Department, a police department, or any other law enforcement agency;
(D) Shall not consider an applicant’s political affiliation, race, sex, or religion.
Applicants for the appointment as Deputy Sheriff to the Sheriff’s Department, in addition to meeting standards prescribed by the Illinois Compiled Statutes concerning Deputy Sheriff, must:
(A) Be at least twenty-one (21) years of age at the time the person’s application is received by the Commission. A birth certificate shall be furnished, if requested by the Commission. The Commission takes the position that the physical dexterity required of a Deputy Sheriff is reasonably related to age and will most likely be possessed by an employee in that age range, thus resulting in better job performance and fewer injuries to Deputy Sheriffs;
(B) Be a high school graduate or have a certificate of equivalency;
(C) Be no less than 5’6” and no more than 6’6” in height if a male, and no less than 5’1” and no more than 5’11” in height if a female.
(D) Have weight in proportionate to height;
(E) Possess a valid Illinois Driver’s License at the time of written application;
(F) Pass a physical examination by a physician acceptable to the Merit Commission, and, in addition:
Eye test, 20/30 with corrective lenses;
Meet such other mental, medical and physical standards as may be prescribed from time to time by the Commission. Any physical examination shall be paid for by the applicant.
(G) Be acceptable to the Commission following an investigation of background, reputation and character;
(H) Be acceptable to the Commission after oral interview;
(I) Be adjudged as qualified by the Commission and placed on a list of qualified applicants;
(J) Be appointed from the qualified list, by the Sheriff when a vacancy or vacancies exist;
(K) Serve successfully a one (1) year probationary period, during which time he is subject to removal by the Sheriff, at will. The Commission shall be notified by the Sheriff in writing of the cause or causes of removal;
(L) Be a resident of the State of Illinois for one (1) year, and the County of Union for thirty (30) days; proof of residency is required;
(M) Furnish a copy of military service discharge, draft status and/or lottery number. If necessary, sign a release for any information the Commission may request from applicant’s military file;
(N) Pass a pre-employment polygraph test, if requested;
(O) Agree to attend an approved course or courses for law enforcement officers, as may be required by statute or by the Sheriff, and graduate from such course or courses.
The ranks of Captain, Lieutenant and Sergeant are considered positions rather than assignments and persons meeting the requirements of the qualifications and appointment procedures stated elsewhere in these Rules, Regulations and Procedures can attain tenure in these positions. The Sheriff, if appointed to an unexpired term from the ranks of tenured personnel, reverts back to his tenured position and rank at the end of his term.
A Deputy under this Article is defined as such Commissioned Union County paid Deputy Sheriffs who are engaged in patrol, law enforcement, and criminal investigation duties and responsibilities of the Union County Sheriff’s Office. (Ord. No. 12–8‑80)
The Union County Board of Commissioners hereby provides for all Union County paid deputies, other than special deputies, employed on a full-time basis in the office of the Sheriff to be appointed, promoted, disciplined and discharged pursuant to recognized merit principles of public employment. (Ord. No. 01–19–81).
At the request of the Sheriff or at its own discretion, the Commission may inspect and investigate those phases of the Sheriff’s Office personnel management program which are within its purview. The Commission may report on its findings to the Union County Board of Commissioners.
(A) Maintain such personnel records and files as are necessary to execute its responsibilities. These records and files shall be confidential, except that any officer shall be permitted, on request, to examine his graded written examinations and efficiency reports, and except that, where practical, an unsuccessful applicant shall be informed of the reason for his rejection upon written request for such information.
(B) Keep and maintain the minutes of all meetings and report the decisions rendered to appropriate parties.
(C) Carefully compile and maintain a transcript of all disciplinary proceedings.
(D) Keep and maintain all other records and files necessary for the proper administration and operation of the Commission’s business, including any information required for compliance with the requests of the County Board of Commissioners for reports of activity.
Whenever changes in the Rules, Regulations and Procedures of the Commission are to be considered, all three (3) members must be in attendance. The Commission may revise or amend these Rules and Regulations after the Sheriff and a representative of the Merit Deputies have been notified of the proposed changes and they have been afforded an opportunity to comment formally on such changes. However, a unanimous vote of all three (3) commission members shall be required to revise the Rules, Regulations and Procedures of the Commission.
On all matters brought before the Commission, the concurrence of at least two (2) members of the Commission shall be necessary for a decision, and the action of such a majority shall be the act of the Commission.
Other meetings of the Commission shall be held on call by the Chairman, or Sheriff, or upon the call of two (2) members of the Commission. The Chairman must notify each of the Commission members, specifying the time and place of such meetings, at least three (3) days prior to the meeting, except in cases of emergency and by waiver of notice by all members. All commission meetings shall be conducted under “Robert’s Rules of Order” and the Open Meetings Act, as amended.
The Commission shall maintain its office at the County Building in Jonesboro, Illinois, where its files and records shall be kept. The Merit Commission is authorized to employ such technical, secretarial and clerical assistants as may be necessary to transact its business and to fix their compensation and reimbursement for expenses incurred, subject to approval of the County Board of Commissioners. (Ord. No. 12–8‑80).
If a vacancy occurs in the office of a commissioner, the Sheriff, with the approval of a majority of the members of the County Board, shall appoint a suitable person to serve the unexpired portion of that commissioner’s term. If the Sheriff fails to appoint a person to fill the vacancy within thirty (30) days, the Chairman of the County Board shall appoint a person to fill the unexpired portion of the term, with the approval of a majority of the members of the County Board. (See 55 ILCS 5/3–8003).
The Sheriff shall appoint three (3) commissioners with the advice and consent of the County Board. The term of office shall be six (6) years with one term of office expiring every two (2) years. No more than two (2) commissioners shall be from the same political party. The members of the Merit Commission shall receive Twenty-Five Dollars ($25.00) per diem for compensation for their services and shall be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary expenses. (See 55 ILCS 5/8003)