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‘Strike three’ for mayor and city leadership

Published: Saturday, April 13, 2013 1:15 a.m. CDT

I chose Dixon as my retirement home. I have offered my experience of DuPage County Circuit Clerk’s Office chief of the Criminal/Traffic Division and Roman Catholic Diocese of Joliet teacher personnel director and director of personnel.

I reviewed, created, and implemented personnel policy for 54 elementary schools, seven high schools, 102 parishes, and 10 missions. Review, change and new policies were considered on a yearly basis.

When Rita Crundwell was arrested, I contacted Mayor Burke and asked whether the city had a personnel policy. If not, I offered to help create one, and if one existed, I offered to review it at no charge.

The last response I heard was, “I’ll bring it to the commissioners.”

Shawn Ortgiesen, the new director of personnel, is cited for inappropriate behavior, but there is no policy that covers his actions. What was the response of the commissioners, and why, after a year knowing flaws existed, was there no immediate action?

The mayor’s actions do not bode well for the community.

Strike one: Rita, the mayor’s “go to” person, embezzled money for 20 years in her city positions, including personnel director.

Strike two: The mayor used city stationery for a political endorsement.

Strike three: Shawn has used his city credit card for personal items without scheduling a payback. Shawn is the mayor’s new “go to” person and director of personnel. He is the same employee who received personal loans from Rita, and I understand did not voluntarily come forward.

Mr. Mayor, your understanding of the function of a director of personnel, the city policy manual, and selection of “go to” people seems shaky.

I realize you have said the mayor of Dixon is only a part-time position, but you are playing in the “big leagues,” and we all know what “strike three” means.

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