Two new village resignations come from SJPD officer, police chief’s sister

By Gary Scott on April 10, 2015 at 1:12pm

Picture from South Jacksonville 2011 Centennial Booklet showing Greg Lowe (center) and Barb DeOrnellas (left).

A South Jacksonville police officer referenced in an Illinois State Police report has resigned.

Police Chief Richard Evans tells WLDS-WEAI News that Greg Lowe, who had served as an internal investigator, resigned effective as of Friday.

Lowe was reportedly stationed outside Village Hall during the controversial “computer backup” incident that took place last summer shortly after state police attempted to interview former village clerk Linda Douglass, who was investigated by the state for allegations of theft.

Evans said in a retirement statement and summary of events regarding the ISP report given to the media earlier this month that Lowe conducted an internal investigation into village official misconduct that he says paralleled the state police investigation.

Evans said two completed investigations were forwarded to the State Appellate Prosecutor’s Office. He says two incomplete investigations were also forwarded. The investigation was then stopped because Evans says Lowe was alleged to have “committed inappropriate conduct which would bring a conflict of interest.”

However, when we reached out to the Appellate Prosecutor’s Office this week, we were told that they were not aware of anything being submitted to their office from the South Jacksonville Police Department.

Multiple sources are also reporting that Richard Evans’ sister Barb DeOrnellas, a contracted data entry employee with the village, has quit.

We asked if Evans would go on tape this morning to talk about Lowe resigning, and other questions. He declined, saying he’s no longer involved in day-to-day operations with the police department.

Evans referred us for all other questions this morning to Village President Gordon Jumper, whom with we left a voicemail this morning.

Evans plans to retire May 31st. Trusted sources tell our radio station that Evans is taking personal time off until that date, and that he has turned in his equipment and police car.

When we talked to Jumper earlier this week, he said this about whether or not Evans will collect full pension for his work as police chief, a question that’s been asked by several people:

“I can’t say what the pension arrangement is that is established by IMRF,” Jumper says. “The village is on the pension payment side, we put money into the pension fund. But the terms and conditions of the payment to those who are qualified are really between IMRF and the retiree.”

The online site My Social Jacksonville released a statement this week saying, “While we are pleased at the decision of…Evans to take retirement…we are concerned that he will apparently continue to serve as Assistant Fire Chief of the South Jacksonville Police Department.”

The statement adds that according to several members of the fire department, Evans is attempting to find a reason to see the current fire chief, David Hickox, removed from his position.

Hickox told us Evans told him he was going to “stick around for a while” at a fire department meeting on Monday, but that hadn’t heard anything about any effort to remove him.

Correction made to this article: It originally said Linda Douglass was the village clerk last summer. We have corrected it to indicate she was the former village clerk.