Patrick Hoey is out as South Beloit’s Police Chief.
The surprise announcement came at Monday’s city council meeting.
Several residents stood up and vouched for Hoey before the meeting started, but come time for the vote, the commissioners didn’t discuss the issue and residents were left with emotions running high and a lot of questions unanswered.
“It was already a done deal,” Gregory Lee, South Beloit resident, said. “They already talked about it and it was done.”
Hoey left the meeting even before Mayor Rehl finished the motion to approve the decision, a decision residents think was already agreed on before the meeting even started.
“We’re supposed to have our voice heard, but from everything that I know, from some of the people that I know is that all this was a decision before I already knew who was going to say,” Lee said.
“It’s nothing against Adam as well,” Deann Muth, a South Beloit resident, said. “I believe it’s just the fact of how they removed him and how they went about no communication.”
Muth then said, “We don’t believe they have anything to stand on to actually remove him.”
Commissioner Tom Fitzgerald came up with the idea to replace Hoey with Assistant Chief Adam Truman. Mayor Rehl says a big factor in the decision is the city’s long-standing financial issues and since Fitzgerald is the Commissioner of the Health and Public Safety Department, his word holds the most weight.
“Each of these commissioners have a department and within that department, they are the final say,” Mayor Rehl said. “The mayor does not, cannot intervene in those departments.”
Rehl then said, “The recommendations for personnel come through that commissioner.”
However, residents feel there’s more behind the decision than budget issues.
“It was a personal issue between Tom Fitzgerald and Chief Hoey,” Muth said. “I felt like it was something that could be worked out.”
Commissioner Fitzgerald did not want to comment on his reasonings behind replacing Hoey.