Winnebago County deputy heads South Beloit police during search for new chief
The South Beloit City Council gave control of its police force to the Winnebago County Sheriff’s Department Thursday (March 3).
The agreement will hand daily operations of the department over to the sheriff’s office until South Beloit hires a new police chief.
South Beloit was suddenly without a chief when Waylon Weber announced his resignation Monday, after less than five months on the job.
Weber will resume duties as a patrol officer after serving a two-week suspension for misconduct.
Meantime, Sheriff Dick Meyers appointed Sgt. Scott Andrews, a 25-year county veteran, to supervise the South Beloit department.
“(Sgt. Andrews) will exercise all other powers that would ordinarily reside in the city chief of police,” the intergovernmental agreement reads.
Last night’s move was not the first time South Beloit has called on the county for leadership assistance. In 2001, the sheriff’s department oversaw the police force after Chief Jack Johnson stepped down.
Andrews is meeting with South Beloit officers today, to assess the department’s needs.
Those needs, Meyers said, will be minimal and center mostly on having the proper chain of command during the search for a new chief.
‘No comment’ on McCaslin suspension
South Beloit officials are not commenting on the status of Sgt. Brad McCaslin, who was placed on administrative leave before Weber resigned Monday.
As of this report, Weber would did not give a reason why he resigned or what prompted him to suspend Sgt. McCaslin.
The council has hired a private firm to investigate the matter.
“Sgt. McCaslin is currently on leave pending the outcome of an investigation,” A City of South Beloit press release said. “We will not be making any further comment about the details of that investigation at this time.”
Waylon Weber was found guilty of misconduct last month and suspended for two weeks by the South Beloit Fire and Police Commission. Because the commission does not have authority to suspend the police chief, Weber was not required to serve the suspension.
According to the verdict, Weber would be placed on leave if he resumed duties as a patrol officer.
The commission’s verdict stemmed from a February 2009 incident at the Beloit, Wis. home of Weber’s ex-wife.
While on duty, Weber, then a sergeant, received a call from his ex-wife, after she caught a 17-year-old male having sex with his underage daughter. Weber drove to the residence and confronted the boy.
On his way to the scene, Weber radioed Winnebago County 911 dispatchers and said he was doing a “follow-up” outside of his jurisdiction, but did not disclose the nature of the call.
The ruling also stated Weber used a squad car for personal purposes and made untruthful statements to emergency officials.
Weber admitted to grabbing the 17-year-old by the neck while lecturing him. No criminal charges were filed.
The case sparked significant controversy, as the suspension was ordered 18-months after Weber was reportedly reprimanded with a verbal warning by then-Chief Tom Fearn.
The complaint against Weber was filed by South Beloit Mayor Randy Kirichlow Oct. 15, 2010, a week after Weber was named chief.
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