Police Chief Mir no longer on probation
By Dan Hust
MONTICELLO March 8, 2013 Sullivan County Personnel Officer Carolyn Hill has advised Monticello Mayor/Acting Village Manager Gordon Jenkins that Police Chief Robert Mir is no longer on probation, as far as her office is concerned.
In a memo to village officials on Wednesday, Hill said Mir was on a 26-week probationary employment period that ended February 18.
She acknowledged that Jenkins had the ability to extend that period to 52 weeks but that appropriate signed documentation was not filed with her office, including a receipt of the notice of probationary extension which would have to be signed by Mir and Jenkins (neither signed it).
“Unless the requested signed documentation is provided to this office, I would advise that the extension of the probationary period is not valid and Mr. Mir will have satisfied his probationary period,” Hill wrote.
On Wednesday, Mir told the Democrat he did not receive that notice but only a memo from Jenkins stating dissatisfaction with his performance.
He responded to that memo, disagreeing with Jenkins’ assessment, and he refused to sign Jenkins’ memo because he felt that would be an admission of poor performance.
Mir added that he will not sign any documents relating to any probation extension with the village.
“Absolutely not,” he remarked, calling the matter a “witch hunt” and noting that his personnel file does not include any instances of unsatisfactory conduct or performance.
He considers Hill’s memo confirmation that he’s now Monticello’s permanent, official police chief.
While Jenkins had yet to see Hill’s memo when interviewed Wednesday, he told the Democrat that he still considers Mir to be on probationary appointment but if the issue persists, he won’t push back.
“I’m not going to go to court and cost the taxpayers all sorts of money to fight it,” Jenkins explained. “I do think the chief is doing a good job. I just think he can do better.”
Trustee Carmen Rue also weighed in, stating, “The Monticello police chief’s probation cannot be extended. The Acting Village Manager/Mayor did not have cause and did not follow proper procedure, as required by law, to extend the probationary period. The notice of extension was not provided to the chief and no documents were signed when they were provided to Civil Service after the end of the 26-week period.”