City cracks down on inappropriate recycling

The City of Rockford announced it has corrected a long-standing practice of some present and former city employees who were converting city scrap to their own use at area recycling centers. This practice has come to an end. When complaints of this practice were first brought to the attention of the current administration, the Human Resource Department immediately began civil and criminal investigations and referred the matter to the State’s Attorney’s Office for possible criminal prosecution.

Following a comprehensive investigation, this administration discovered these types of occurrences may have taken place over the span of many years. The specific value of the materials involved in the current investigation was just more than $3,000 in the aggregate.

The city is not in the position to confirm whether any individual employee involved received discipline or the type of discipline received. The city has a longstanding policy of not commenting about the discipline of any individual employee. However, in determining a general course of corrective action, the city considered the long history of a lack of appropriate management response, lack of supervisory oversight, and the failure to interdict the practice after receiving complaints, as contributing factors to the practice.

This administration has implemented corrective action, including discipline of a number of employees, and the reinforcement of internal policies and procedures on the treatment of city property.

State’s Attorney Paul Logli said: “We reviewed the investigation, and it was the sole judgment of the State’s Attorney’s Office that the facts would not support a criminal prosecution. The matter was referred back to the City of Rockford as a personnel matter.”

The city would defer to the State’s Attorney’s Office any comments about any criminal investigation and the ultimate decisions made by that office.

from the July 18-24, 2007, issue

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