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Sgt. Dahl Got 4 Months Pay Before He Quietly Resigned From Joliet Police
On July 29, 2015, Sgt. Dahl ended up in Kankakee County's Jail, charged with stealing a utility trailer.By John Ferak (Patch Staff) - Updated Oct 24, 2017 8:22 pm ET.
JOLIET, IL - After Henry Dahl joined the Joliet Police Department in 2003, his career was on the rise. At 33, he made sergeant in 2009. In 2014, Dahl topped $125,000 in gross pay as a Joliet patrol sergeant, city finance reports show. He was well on his way to climbing the ranks and becoming a lieutenant until 5:28 a.m. July 29, 2015. That's when police in Kankakee were summoned to a utility trailer theft in progress behind the Consignments and More shop in the 1400 block of North Hobbie Avenue, according news accounts.
"Officers were advised by dispatch that a witness saw a white male wearing a black jacket, driving a black pickup north from the store," Kankakee's Daily Journal newspaper reported. "The witness said the trailer became unhitched and the suspect pulled into the parking lot of a business in Bradley where officers apprehended him. Dahl was wearing latex gloves when police took him into custody. He also gave officers a fake name and the Kankakee address he gave was an abandoned house. Officers took him to Jerome Combs Detention Center." Dahl was familiar with Kankakee. During the late 1990s, he got five speeding tickets in Kankakee County, before Dahl became a Joliet police officer, according to court records.
In connection with the trailer theft, Joliet Police Sgt. Dahl, 39, got arrested. He was booked in the jail in Kankakee County. A judge set his bond at $25,000. Dahl told the judge he intended to hire a private criminal defense lawyer, which he did, retaining the Bourbonnais law firm of Godin, Denton & Elliott. Patch called attorney Jeff Godin on Monday seeking comment but Godin did not call back. Special prosecutor Charles Colburn also did not respond to a request seeking comment.
In a Joliet Patch story published July 31, 2015, Brian Benton said in a statement, "As chief of the Joliet Police Department, I am extremely saddened and disappointed by the fact that a member of our agency has been charged with an act that jeopardizes the public trust and integrity that we’ve worked so hard to earn."
Despite facing felony charges involving a trailer theft, Dahl's career as a Joliet Police Department patrol sergeant did not come to an abrupt end, Joliet Patch confirmed this week.
Dahl, after posting bond, then got paid to stay off Joliet's Police Department for four entire months. All that while, the rest of Joliet's patrol unit was out in the trenches actually working to earn their paychecks. Conservative estimates calculated by Joliet Patch indicate the criminal defendant made around $38,000 in administrative leave pay that August, September, October and November of 2015.
Sgt. Dahl made $142,000 in gross wages in 2015 even though he did not work a day on the job for the Joliet Police Department after his July 29, 2015 felony theft arrest, city payroll data indicated.
On Monday afternoon, Joliet's Deputy Police Chief of Administration Tab Jensen confirmed that Dahl was no longer a member of his department.
Here were some takeaways from the interview:
Dahl resigned prior to any discipline being imposed through internal affairs.
Dahl did not get any severance or separation payment in lieu of his resignation.
Dahl's resignation letter was signed around December 1, 2015.
Any payments to Dahl after the resignation would relate to Dahl's fringe benefits package that was negotiated by the Fraternal Order of Police and city of Joliet officials.
In 2016, even though Dahl was no longer a city employee, he still got $73,315 in gross wages from Joliet. The entire $73,315 amount for Dahl is listed on the city of Joliet salary spreadsheet under the category of "Other."
Jensen said that any 2016 payouts were most certainly related to Dahl's employee benefits package, which gave Dahl the chance to bank unused vacation, accrue sick days and build up compensatory time.
"He did not get a salary," Jensen stressed.
By submitting his resignation after four months of paid leave, Dahl effectively ended his police department's internal affairs probe. "We haven't heard from him since then," Jensen said Monday.
Dahl, who turns 42 in December, still has yet to go to trial in Kankakee County.
His criminal trial was set to begin in June, but the defense asked for a continuance and it was granted. The lawyers will return to Kankakee on November 6 to set a date for Dahl's trial, now almost two-and-a-half years after Dahl's arrest.
Even if the upper administration at Joliet's Police Department is pleased to have parted ways with Dahl, his case touches on a few important topics.
There appears to be a hefty price tag associated with getting rid of a suspected crooked cop.
There was a reluctance by the police administration to act swift and decisively. As mentioned earlier, Dahl got four months of pay to stay off the job, at the taxpayer's expense.
If Dahl, after only 12 years on the police force, got a payout worth $73,000, can the city ensure its residents that it can continue to afford these kinds of payments for employees like Dahl, who are represented by collective bargaining groups, long into the future?Booking mugshots of Henry Dahl via Kankakee Police Department
$25,000 bond set for Joliet police officer arrested in Kankakee
Jul 31, 2015
A Joliet police officer accused of stealing a utility trailer had his bond set at $25,000 by a Kankakee County judge on Thursday.
Henry M. Dahl, who holds the rank of sergeant, told the judge he was going to hire an attorney. A grand jury will hear evidence on Aug. 6. Dahl's next court appearance is Aug. 17
Joliet police Chief Brian Benton said Dahl, 39, has been placed on administrative leave pending both his case here as well as their own investigation.
"It's kind of a surprise," Benton said of Dahl's arrest. "This is definitely out of character."
Dahl joined the Joliet force in March 2003. He was promoted to sergeant in July 2009.
Benton said Dahl previously was disciplined for a motor vehicle accident in 2005.
According to prosecutors, Dahl took the trailer from behind the Consignments and More shop located at 1450 N. Hobbie Ave. The shop is owned by Michelle Pinski, the wife of local businessman Michael Pinski. It was one of three trailers stored on the lot, Michael Pinski said.
According to a Kankakee police report, officers responded to a call in reference to the theft of a trailer at 5:28 a.m.
Officers were advised by dispatch that a witness saw a white male wearing a black jacket, driving a black pickup north from the store. The witness said the trailer became unhitched and the suspect pulled into the parking lot of a business in Bradley where officers apprehended him.
Dahl was wearing latex gloves when police took him into custody. He also gave officers a fake name and the Kankakee address he gave was an abandoned house. Officers took him to Jerome Combs Detention Center.
12 States have no registrations for stolen trailers. 38 states including this state allows anyone if you want to re-register stolen trailers and get a new vin number all you have to do is call it a "Homemade Trailer"
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