Steve Balich Editors Note: The bottom of the article has a copy of the original Court Filing of the Lawsuit. The Court documents explain how and how the Whistleblower act was violated and what is alleged to have happened.
A Will County Sheriff’s Office employee filed a lawsuit alleging he was demoted for reporting a supervisor who was falsifying work attendance records.
Nathan Musur, who has been working for the sheriff’s office since 2011, worked as a deputy correctional officer at the Will County jail and was promoted to sergeant in 2017, according to the lawsuit. Early last year, Musur discovered that one of his supervisors, Deputy Chief David Adams, was “signing in for work when he was in fact not working.”
According to the lawsuit, Musur reported the falsified attendance records to Chief Deputy of Adult Detention Dale Santerelli, Adams’ immediate supervisor. Santerelli told Musur he would investigate the matter.
In August, Musur said he was summoned to a meeting with Santerelli and Adams, where he was told “things are not working out,” and he was being demoted. The lawsuit states that meeting lasted about five minutes, and Musur was not provided with any explanation.
The lawsuit also argues that such a demotion is “exceedingly rare” and said “on information and belief” Musur was the first sergeant the sheriff’s office had ever demoted. It alleges that “nothing about Musur’s performance at the rank of sergeant provided any reason for his demotion, and it had nothing at all to do with the quality of his work.”
Musur asserted that his demotion was retaliation for reporting Adams to Santerelli.
“In addition, Santerelli’s decision to demote Musur was motivated by a fear that Musur would discover that others besides Adams were engaged in the same unlawful behavior, including Deputy Chief Stuart Taylor and Santerelli himself,” according to the lawsuit.
According to the lawsuit, the day Musur was told he was being demoted, Taylor was on vacation, but attendance records showed he was at work. It added that sheriff’s office records indicate Santerelli, Adams and Taylor have supposedly not had any time off of work since 2016.
Muser also is asking to be reinstated to the rank of sergeant and for compensation for lost wages and benefits.
Will County Board member Steve Balich, R-Homer Glen, pointed out the lawsuit was troubling in light of the fact that overtime costs in the sheriff’s office, especially at the county jail, have been a problem for years. He said he thinks the best way to verify the claims would be to conduct an audit of the sheriff’s office.
“I’d hate to say that someone from the sheriff’s office did something wrong when he didn’t,” Balich said. “But the only way to find out is if there is an audit.”