LETTER: Officer given no chance to respond
To the Editor:
Between June 13, 2011, and Nov. 12, 2012, the Roberts Village Board, Police Chief Dan Burgess and Village Attorney Bill Radosevich met in six closed sessions to discuss alleged misdeeds brought by Chief Burgess against senior police officer Sonia Kubesh.
By all accounts, the alleged misdeeds were minor, if not trivial, and should have been handled within the department as any supervisor should do if there are conflicts regarding procedures.
At these closed sessions, and most recently at the closed session held on Oct. 24, 2012, Chief Burgess presented his accusations against Officer Kubesh to the Village Board. Officer Kubesh was not once allowed to attend and present any rebuttals to Chief Burgess' accusations. Apparently the Roberts Village Board does not believe in due process and is willing to stand nine against one and only hear one side of the case. As one Roberts resident so aptly stated, "Roberts has a broom and dustpan government where everything is swept under the rug."
After serving the community in which she lives for almost 13 years, one would think Officer Kubesh would be afforded the respect of getting to face her accuser, as well as the opportunity to defend herself against Chief Burgess' accusations. Instead, the Village Board listened to Chief Burgess' accusations in private, and as a result, Officer Kubesh was presented with a resignation agreement.
At the Nov. 12, 2012, Village Board meeting, Attorney Radosevich said no charges were filed against Officer Kubesh, so there was no Police Board of Review hearing which would have been held in public. However, the Police Board of Review was not involved because Chief Burgess chose to circumvent that board and take his accusations against Officer Kubesh directly to Village President Willard Moeri, who convened the closed sessions.
Attorney Radosevich said this is a resignation situation. However, Officer Kubesh wished to retire with the village and only resigned because she was presented with no other choice. If it was Chief Burgess' goal to get Officer Kubesh removed from the police department, then he has succeeded but only by an involuntary resignation. It is a shame for Roberts to lose such a dedicated, honorable and well-liked police officer.