SOUTH BELOIT - South Beloit Public Safety Commissioner Tom Fitzgerald expressed displeasure with former Police Chief Patrick Hoey being absent from his duties to attend meetings and charity events outside the city without giving prior notice, according to a letter of reprimand which was obtained by the Beloit Daily News.
The letter, which appears to have been delivered to Hoey's office on April 25, but is dated April 29, 2019, states Hoey was absent from work on March 15 without notice to council members to attend a Special Olympics meeting.
"As I have informed you previously, and as you were instructed at the time of your hire, the City Council does not consider your time away from your duties as police chief to attend meetings of Torch Run or Special Olympics as work related time," the letter states. "While the city is certainly supportive of your desire to be involved with the wonderful work performed by these organizations, involvement in charity work has always been something City employees have performed during their own time."
The letter states Fitzgerald when to the police department to discuss police department business, but he was informed Hoey was at the Special Olympics meeting. The letter also notes that Hoey took a city vehicle to the meeting and Fitzgerald nor any other council member was informed of this before the date in question. The letter stated city vehicles are to be used for city business only.
The letter stated 4.62 hours would be deducted from Hoey's vacation time to account for his absence on March 15.
"Absences from the office for full or half days to attend meetings need to be reported to all Department Heads, Mayor and Commissioners as per City practice and as you have been instructed in the past," the letter states.
Hoey, who was appointed South Beloit police chief in November of 2017, was not reappointed to his position during a South Beloit City Council meeting on April 29. Assistant Police Chief Adam Truman was appointed police chief during that meeting by a unanimous vote of the council.
The Daily News received the letter of reprimand through an Freedom of Information request.
Fitzgerald was contacted by the Daily News for comment on the letter, but he declined comment saying he cannot say anything due to a confidentiality agreement between the city and Hoey.