Oakileaks, a Facebook Page apparently styled after Wikileaks, posted an email on Tuesday between Trustee Tom Phelan, Village Manager Larry Deetjen, Human Resources Director Dan Omiecinski and one of the attorneys for the village, in which Phelan demands that an employee be disciplined for allegedly spreading a rumor.
According to the email post, on January 19, 2011 at 8:44 p.m., in which the subject line refers to “slanderous rumor by village employee”, Phelan wrote:
I heard from a village employee that the female maintenance worker (Danielle?) has been spreading a rumor that “Tom Phelan lost his job so now he is gunning for the Village Manager’s job”. The employee who told me this said that more than one person in Village Hall was talking about it.
My career and profession are wholly dependent upon my reputation, and several of my clients live in Oak Lawn and watch board meetings, often to my dismay. I want this person brought in and interviewed and then disciplined if we find that she in fact is the source. Copying April and Dan as fyi. Please advise that you have received this email and what action will be taken.
According to the post on Oakileaks, Deetjen responded the next morning at 10:29 a.m., writing:
Tom, who is the source of that allegation and when was the statement made? Ironically. Danielle was suspected of “taking alcohol while on the job” yesterday. Chad is her department head and Roger Minnis is her direct supervisor. Both were notified immediately of the allegation because it came from reputable employee sources. She was directed to her department head’s office and local 150 was notified. She denied that she was under “the influence” and agreed to take a police breathylyzer test immediately. She was escorted by Chad and a police officer downstairs where the test was administered and a hard copy report produced. She was well below the limit but was counseled both by Chad and myself regarding
drinking. She was honest and forthright. We had witnesses that allowed us to pursue this inquiry. Give us a name and we will follow through. Time of incident particularly important in light of the above.Larry
Phelan while continuing to copy the Human Resources Director and the attorney then responds 11 minutes later, angrily referring to unnamed “coke addicts and test cheaters”:
Ladies in the Clerk’s Office” – not specific – was one reference, and Jeanne Galzin another. You will have to ask them for specifics. And I am tired of “counseling” malcontent assholes who do nothing but bring this village down. We have coke addicts and test-cheaters driving ambulances and responding to life-and-death situations because of that mentality.
The post on the Oakileaks page notes that the email exchange is a public record. The introduction for the post states, “Village staff is not going to endure this abuse any longer.”
Phelan served as Trustee in the sixth district for two terms and was a Trustee at the time of the email exchange. For the last four years, Phelan has served as Mayor Sandra Bury’s chief political adviser and drafted the infamous hit list which detailed a plan of disciplining or removing employees and contractors from consideration for jobs and contracts based on political allegiances.
Phelan is seeking election once again in District 6 and is aligned with Mayor Sandra Bury. While he has publicly supported term limits for public officials, his service and influence would equal 16 years if elected.
According to three Village Trustees in neighboring towns who are familiar with Oak Lawn politics and spoke only on the condition of anonymity said that the direct contact with human resources is highly unusual for elected officials. “Federal and state laws protect employees”, said one who added, “you don’t want to get caught playing politics with employee discipline issues or making decisions based on whims.”