By Dan Hust
MONTICELLO One of Sullivan County’s most experienced police officers is expected to become the Monticello Police Department’s next chief.
On Friday, Village Manager John LiGreci formally offered the $85,000-a-year position to retired Liberty PD Chief Rob Mir.
“I think he’ll be a great administrator and respected by his men,” LiGreci said yesterday. “I would like him to start on the 20th of August.”
Mir indicated yesterday that he’ll accept the position with board approval.
The 47-year-old Liberty resident is currently the director of safety and security at Honors Haven Resort (the former Fallsview) near Ellenville.
Though he retired in May from two decades of service with the Liberty PD, Mir said he’s eager to rejoin law enforcement’s ranks.
“I guess it’s still in my system,” he acknowledged.
“I don’t intend to collect a pension,” he added.
The Monticello PD has been without a permanent chief since Doug Solomon retired earlier this year. Lt. Mark Johnstone has served as acting chief in the interim, but neither he nor several other current Monticello officers ultimately chose to accept an offer to replace Solomon, due to differences over the proposed salary.
The village was looking at hiring a provisional chief until the Civil Service exam could be readministered in March, but both LiGreci and Sullivan County Personnel Officer Carolyn Hill confirmed that Mir does not have to retake that exam, which he’s already successfully passed six times.
“It’s like a reinstatement to his former title,” explained Hill, noting that Mir was entitled to transfer that title to another police department, like Monticello. “He met the provisions.”
Hill said the village board will make the final appointment via a resolution that sets the salary, which she is awaiting.
But LiGreci argued that he makes the appointment, saying the village attorney agrees and that the board will simply vote on a salary resolution, likely at its next meeting on August 21.
A formal contract has yet to be worked out between the village and Mir, as well.
A police officer for nearly a quarter of a century, Mir knows he’s stepping into a polarized situation, with a police department and village administration often at odds.
“I’m going into this with a clear mind,” he affirmed. “I’m just going in to run the police department. I’m not going to get involved in the politics.”
Mayor Gordon Jenkins couldn’t be reached for comment yesterday, but both Johnstone and PBA (union) President John Riegler indicated the police force will welcome Mir.
“We have no problem with Rob Mir,” said Riegler. “He was a well-respected chief in Liberty, and we look forward to working with him.”
Lt. Johnstone said he harbors no animosity against Mir and plans on staying with the department as a lieutenant.
“Rob’s a friend of mine, and I’m sure we’ll work well together,” Johnstone affirmed. “He’s a professional.”