Manito residents challenge new Police Chief hiring

By Chad Weber

September 10, 2012 Updated Oct 26, 2013 at 1:14 AM CDT

MANITO, Ill. -- Some Manito residents said they feel betrayed by the hiring of their new police chief.

At Monday night's village hall meeting, residents voiced their opinions on what they call the overlooking of 20-year Assistant Chief Butch Hottslaw for the position.

Instead a part time Officer from Spring Lake, Scott Montgomery, was hired as Chief about a month ago.

Those speaking out said city ordinances were changed to allow an outside hire, and that Montgomery will make less, in turn saving the city money.

"He's done great things for this community (Hottslaw) but when the job comes up, he was pushed by to the wayside, it's just not fair," said Brandon Passmore speaking on behalf of fellow citizens. "It's just not right. You trust a person who has 20 plus experience versus a guy who works a couple days a month."

"I think a lot of it's based off emotion and the fact that the person they wanted to become Chief didn't become Chief," said Mayor Tim Sondag. "For that I'm sorry. I wish things were different for them but it is what it is."

Mayor Sondag said the new Chief is qualified for the position and was hired on a 5-1 vote.

He adds that there is no city ordinance denying outside hires and is not aware of any pay difference for the new chief.

Residents said they plan to uncover details of the hiring and filed a Freedom of Information Act at the meeting in order to do so.

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