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Sauk Village Cop Alleges Harassment By Trustee

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(CBS)

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SAUK VILLAGE, Ill. (STMW) – Months after settling a racial discrimination lawsuit against south suburban Sauk Village, police Sgt. Tim Holevis has filed a new complaint alleging further harassment.

Holevis, the former interim chief, was booted back down to sergeant last month when Mayor Lewis Towers tapped Robert Fox, who is black, to be the police chief.

Holevis, who is white, was named interim chief in 2010 after Frank Martin, now a Country Club Hills alderman, was fired.

Three months after Martin was sacked, Holevis and two other employees filed a lawsuit against Towers and others claiming civil rights violations and racial discrimination. The lawsuit was settled for an undisclosed amount in September.

In a Dec. 7 filing with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Holevis claims he was racially harassed after that settlement. The complaint states that village Trustee Enoch Benson, who is black, unjustly “vilified” Holevis’ job performance.

According to the complaint, Benson sent an email Nov. 19 claiming Holevis was “raping the taxpayers at will” by illegally collecting more than $30,000 in overtime while he was interim chief.

Holevis did not receive that amount but was entitled to collect overtime as an hourly employee because Towers refused to give him a contract, the complaint said. The complaint does not specify what Holevis was paid in overtime during his stint as interim chief.

The complaint also said Towers, who is black, made Holevis pay out-of-pocket for a second set of business cards because the ones he ordered said “police chief” rather than “interim police chief.”

Towers appointed Fox as police chief on Nov. 22. Holevis’ complaint said Fox, the former Dolton police chief, has much less experience and is not nearly as qualified as Holevis to be police chief.

“I was demoted because of my race, Caucasian, and in retaliation for filing a discrimination lawsuit,” Towers said in the new complaint.

Fox last week said Holevis’ claim that he was more qualified was “racist on its face.” He also said he had more experience as a police chief and a better policing education.

“We should be about the citizens, about the law and making sure we’re doing our jobs,” Fox said. “We are protectors of peace for everybody, not black or green or white or blue, but everybody.”

The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal anti-discrimination laws. It conducts investigations and tries to settle the charges if it finds discrimination has occurred.

Towers and Benson did not respond to multiple messages.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2010. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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