Updated: March 12, 2013 2:39PM
CROWN POINT — What could have been a contentious public hearing and political donnybrook snoozed away to nothing on Monday.
With the help of former Mayor James Metros, a negotiated settlement was reached between police sergeant James Poling and the city before a hearing regarding Poling’s termination began.
Metros became involved on March 6 and the agreement was reached on March 8.
Poling had formerly claimed that he was forced to sign retirement papers because the city adminitration objected to his having signed a letter from the Fraternal Order of Police objecting to the membership of Randy Palmateer on the Board of Public Works and Safety, which oversees the Police Department.
The city’s position was that Poling had violated the rules of the Police Department during a pursuit, and that the city moved to fire him after Poling withdrew a retirement agreement with the city. Poling had requested a hearing before the Board of Works regarding the termination. The hearing had been scheduled to begin Monday.
The agreement calls for Poling to remain a sergeant with the Crown Point Police Department. He has publicly taken responsibility and apologized for errors that he made in the high-speed chase of May 25, 2012. He admitted and accepted responsibility for violating the rules and regulations of the department.
Poling was given a 30-day non-paid leave, effective immediately, announced City Attorney David Nicholls. Mayor David Uran said that Poling’s health benefits would remain in effect.
A motion to approve the agreement was made by City Councilman Bob Clemons and seconded by Tim Grzych, with a vote of 3-0-2 (abstentions by Uran and Palmateer).
Poling’s attorney, Christopher Cooper, said that the settlement includes dismissal of a federal lawsuit Poling had filed against the city, and that all sides are satisfied. There is a confidentiality agreement regarding the details of the settlement.
“Metros looked out for the city of Crown Point and Sgt. Poling at the same time,” Cooper said after the hearing was closed.