Fired officer won’t leave city-owned house
By Lenore T. Adkins
Daily Herald Staff Writer
Posted Thursday, November 02, 2006
Recently fired Elgin police officer Jesus “Jesse” Padron refuses to move out of the city-owned house he was ordered to vacate by Wednesday.
Padron, 44, until recently served in the Resident Officer Program of Elgin, where he monitored crime in the Near West neighborhood. As part of that arrangement, ROPE officers live rent-free in a house in the neighborhood. There are currently five ROPE houses.
Padron still lives in the Union Street house he was assigned to a year ago, although he’d been given 25 days — until Wednesday — to leave.
But Padron, the department’s one-time Officer of the Year, says the city never should have told him to leave the house because he is still fighting to get his job back.
“It’s like arresting some Spanish guy who is illegal and saying, ‘Regardless of what’s going to happen to you, we’re going to deport you,’” said Padron, who is Latino. “Let’s wait until it’s all said and done.”
Meanwhile, the city is aware that Padron is living in the house past its deadline and is considering its options, said Sue Olafson, the city’s spokeswoman.
Last week, Padron and his attorney met with City Manager Femi Folarin, seeking a reversal of Police Chief Lisa Womack’s October decision to fire the 18-year officer. A decision is expected in two weeks, said Tim O’Neil, Padron’s attorney.
Ideally, Padron says he’d love to return to the force as a ROPE officer. But that may be a pipe dream.
Sgt. Glenn Theriault, who oversees the ROPE program, has said that even if Padron won his appeal, he wouldn’t come back as a ROPE officer, since he was removed from that post before he was fired.
Padron’s refusal to leave the house has no impact on the Near West neighborhood securing a new ROPE officer by Thanksgiving, Theriault said. Alternate housing arrangements would have to be made until Padron leaves the house, Theriault said.
Padron’s recent dismissal wasn’t the first time he’d been in trouble with his superiors.
As a detective in the 1990s, he served a pair of unpaid three-day suspensions after he admitted to fixing a traffic ticket for an informant and failed to show up in court as a witness in a drug case.
Padron declined to discuss the charges that led to his October dismissal, only to say that he’s innocent. He also hopes Folarin remembers the good things he’s done in his career, such as distributing food to needy families on the holidays.
“In my mind, my career is in the city manager’s hands,” Padron said. “I just want my job back.”
i hope the SWAT team burns it down...
Hmm, wonder why he got fired?
Tagged for details....