Peoria City Council members want answers about who knew about the investigation into former Police Chief Jerry Mitchell. Mitchell abruptly retired last Friday, as the Journal Star reported he was under investigation for allegations of inappropriate behavior with a female, civilian subordinate. It was surprising to many people including City Council members who heard about it through the media
Peoria City Manager Patrick Urich said employee matters don't warrant city council members being notified in advance. We are told that Urich and Mayor Jim Ardis had been aware of the investigation by a local legal firm, Heyl Royster regarding former Peoria Police Chief Jerry Mitchell. Mitchell abruptly retired on Friday. We tried to talk with Mayor Ardis Tuesday but were not successful. Urich said privacy takes precedence over city council involvement.
"There's some things that we can discuss publicly and there's some things we can't by the nature of the circumstances and we can't talk about the details of this matter. The police department is in very capable hands in Chief Marion and we are looking forward to address the work plan that the council has laid out for us," Urich said.
In the meantime Governor Rauner has removed Jerry Mitchell from a statewide criminal justice commission. The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority is responsible for developing ways to improve law enforcement. A spokesperson from the governor's office said Mitchell was removed because he is no longer a police chief.