Excerpts from the OakLawnLeaf.com:

An eight year battle between the Oak Lawn firefighters and Village Manager Larry Deetjen that has generally centered around staffing issues and caused hard feelings on both sides has now spilled over into allegations of “phone sex”, “theft of union funds” and “sex acts while on duty”.

The Village of Oak Lawn surprisingly issued a press release yesterday noting that firefighter and former union official Bob Lanz had filed a motion for a temporary restraining order against the Village of Oak Lawn in an attempt to stop or delay the village’s investigation into whether Lanz violated policies prohibiting sexual harassment.

According to the press release, “The village recently became aware of information that suggests that one of its firefighter/paramedics may have violated the village’s policies, including the policy against sexual harassment by engaging in phone sex while on duty on multiple occasions.  No employee should ever have to witness or listen to the sex acts of a co-worker while on duty…”

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) defines Sexual Harassment as follows:  “It is unlawful to harass a person (an applicant or employee) because of that person’s sex. Harassment can include “sexual harassment” or unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical harassment of a sexual nature.”

The unusual part of the village’s allegations, according to sources within the village, is that no employee has complained about sexual harassment by Lanz.  In addition, there does not appear to be any direct claim of sexual harassment other than a reference in the press release that theoretically “no employee should ever have to witness or listen to sex acts of a co-worker while on duty”.  Nonetheless, Lanz is reportedly serving a five day suspension that he is contesting through his union, in which he served as a high ranking official during many of the lawsuits and arbitration cases involving minimum manning.

According to our source, who asked to remain anonymous, Deetjen first reportedly claimed that Lanz had taken union funds and used those funds illegally. At the direction of Deetjen, the village contacted the Cook County State’s Attorney reporting that the funds had been illegally taken by Lanz.  The unusual action highlighted a growing dispute between the two men, with village insiders noting that none of the funds are village funds or taxpayer funds.  The current union leadership did not file any criminal or civil actions against Lanz and never complained to the State’s Attorney or the village about the use of the funds.  Deetjen has privately claimed that a disgruntled firefighter complained to the Oak Lawn Police, who contacted the State’s Attorney’s Office. The union is representing Lanz in his disputes with the village.

After investigating the matter, the Cook County State’s Attorney did not find evidence to substantiate the filing of charges for theft or any criminal act.  It is not the first time that Deetjen has been involved in a high profile claim of illegal conduct that has fizzled under the review of law enforcement officials. Soon after the State’s Attorney found that there wasn’t sufficient evidence to proceed, Deetjen reportedly claimed that an unnamed firefighter, now known to be Lanz, was being investigated for a sex act while on duty.  The “sex act” referred to weeks ago is now known to be an allegation of “phone sex”.  According to our source, Deetjen does not have any evidence that a “sex act” occurred but he has termed the act of phoning certain numbers “sex acts”.  As of this date, no other employee has filed any claim of sexual harassment, although the village’s press release called the alleged acts “sexual misconduct”.

According to an individual with knowledge of the case, Deetjen reviewed the union’s documents and cross checked expenditures with a search of the internet concluding that two of the charges were linked to companies that provide phone sex.  The fire chief then served Lanz with an order to provide his cell phone records and credit card statements in order to allow the village to investigate whether he had indeed engaged in calling “phone sex numbers” while on duty.

Over a week ago, Lanz was served with two disciplinary notices.  One of the notices was a formal “Notice of Interrogation and Order” that required him to produce the personal credit card records and personal cell phone records regarding an investigation of “inappropriate financial transactions and engaging in inappropriate sex related activities while on duty and working for the village on multiple occasions”.

Cook County Circuit Court Judge Diane Larson was dragged into the wacky case when Lanz filed the motion for a temporary restraining order in an attempt to stop or delay the date for the turnover of the credit card and phone records.  A temporary or emergency restraining order can only be granted if the petitioner can show an “irrevocable harm” will occur if the order is not granted.  Judge Larson noted that Lanz would not suffer any such harm and denied the motion.  Larson did not rule on the merits of the underlying allegations.

Judge Larson did suggest that the village not proceed today with the interrogation and instead wait until January 7th at the earliest.

At the time of our deadline we could not confirm whether the village was going to proceed today.

thanks Dan