By SAMANTHA PIDDE
Mount Carroll city officials confirmed Monday, Aug. 5, that they plan to hire Scott Marth as the new chief of police.
Mayor Carl Bates had announced Police Chief Fred Cass's resignation at the July 23 city council meeting. After nine years at Mount Carroll, Cass has accepted a position as assistant police chief in Stockton.
Bates recommended Marth for the police chief’s job at a July 29 Police Committee meeting. A Mount Carroll resident, Marth currently serves as Chadwick’s police chief. Mayor Bates reminded the committee that Marth had been the city's second choice nine years ago when Cass was hired.
However, veteran Mount Carroll Police Officer Dennis Asay also expressed interest in the police chief’s job and asked why he was not being considered.
After a brief discussion, Mayor Bates and Police Committee members suggested the matter be discussed in closed session with all aldermen attending.
The Police Committee met again late Monday afternoon, Aug. 5, to discuss the police chief vacancy along with the possibility of appointing an interim police chief.
Members of the Police Committee include Aldermen Doug Bergren (chairman), Paul Kazcmarski, Jeff Elliott and Kevin Powers. Ald. Mike Risko and Ald. Joe Grim also attended along with Asay and Marth.
The meeting agenda included a closed session to "consider the appointment, employment, compensation, discipline, performance or dismissal of specific employees."
Before the committee went into closed session, Asay asked Ald. Bergren to read a letter he had received from the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board (ILETSB) concerning Asay's full-time officer "Certificate and Waiver of Training."
During the July 29 Police Committee meeting, Bates cited the fact that Asay does not have a full-time certification as a reason he could not be police chief. When Asay pointed out his waiver, Cass and Bates clarified that Asay had never gone through the academy, which they said was required.
Asay’s letter from ILETSB investigator Jan W. Noble reads:
"I have been informed by Mr. Keigher, the Board's Attorney, that the Waiver was granted to you based upon your prior training and experience, along with other non-basic training classes, and finally, your successful completion of the 200 question State Examination required of all officers in Illinois.
"In view of the fact that you have successfully completed the above requirements and were granted a Waiver, Mr. Keigher, the Board's Attorney, re-affirmed your status as a fully sworn and certified Officer, which makes you eligible to apply for career advancement opportunities in Law Enforcement in the State of Illinois, including the Chief of Police."
Following the 30-minute closed session, the Police Committee returned to open session with a recommendation to employ Marth as Mount Carroll’s new police chief, pending negotiation of a contract.
No public comments on the decision were made by Mayor Bates or any of the aldermen.
The recommendation to hire Marth will be voted on at the Tuesday, Aug. 13, Mount Carroll City Council meeting.
While Cass's first day at Stockton was Aug. 5, Mayor Bates said Cass will adjust his hours allowing him to serve as interim chief until Marth becomes chief.
Marth has worked in Carroll County law enforcement for 29 years, with the bulk of that experience in municipal police service Chadwick, Milledgeville and Mount Carroll.
His resume, which he provided to the Mirror-Democrat, said he is an “experienced manager, trained in community policing concepts at the academy level, with the ability to liaison with community and groups.”