Steve Kapitan unconditionally resigned as DeKalb City Clerk. According to a City of DeKalb press release Kapitan, a fixture in DeKalb municipal government for the past 20 years, resigned for personal reasons.
“It is my understanding that Steve needed to resign for personal reasons,” Mayor Kris Povlsen said. Kapitan has served as Clerk since his election to the position in 2009. Prior to that, Kapitan served as the Third Ward Alderman from the late 1990’s until 2005.
“Steve is a good friend and has been a dedicated public servant. I wish him well in his future endeavors,” Povlsen said.
Kapitan’s unconditional resignation is spelled out in an agreement obtained by the Daily Chronicle.
There is an important difference between an elected municipal officer, like City Clerk, who voluntarily offers his/her unconditional resignation as opposed to one who voluntarily offers a conditional resignation.
According to state statutes (65 ILCS 5/3.1-10-50) an unconditional resignation by a person holding the elective office may not be withdrawn after it is received by the officer authorized [Mayor Povlsen] to fill the vacancy. A conditional resignation that does not become effective unless a specified event occurs can be withdrawn at any time prior to the occurrence of the specified event, but if not withdrawn, the effective date of the resignation is the date of the occurrence of the specified event or the date the resignation is received by the officer authorized to fill the vacancy, whichever date occurs later. Unconditional cannot withdraw resignation. Conditional can be withdrawn.
Evidently the separation agreement signed by Steve Kapitan, Mark Biernacki and Dean Frieders constituted Kapitan’s resignation in writing as required by 65 ILCS 5/3.1-10-50(a). But there were conditions included in the contract. Kapitan is to receive two months salary, around $10,165, for severance for his voluntary resignation. He and the City of DeKalb agree to confidentiality:
The buzz around town started Friday. Private messages started pouring in.
FB Friend: Did you hear the news on Kapitan?
Mac: Gracie just asked me about that. Someone asked her. I don’t know anything. What did you hear?
FB Friend: Watch the newspaper. I was told something would be coming out.
FB Friend: Did you hear about an altercation at City Hall involving Steve Kapitan?
Mac: If it’s news happening here it’s news to me! I’ve heard some rumblings but I don’t have anything confirmed. What have you heard?
FB Friend: I heard the cops were involved. Someone’s banned from the building.
Mac: This is getting interesting. I’ll let you know if I find anything out.
First thing Monday morning. I sent an email to Chief Bill Feithen.
I am getting tons of inquiries about an incident at City Hall last week. Allegedly police were involved, possibly an altercation? Can you share anything? Can you point me to the proper contact or source?
I got this response from Mark Biernacki at the end of the day.
The Chief is out today and this was forwarded to me. I assume you are inquiring based on rumors that are out there regarding Steve Kapitan. Let me assure you that there was no altercation at city hall last week. There were no criminal incidents nor was anyone led out of city hall in handcuffs. Some of us did accompany and assist Steve with his personal belongings when he left city hall late last week.
But then I read in Andrew Mitchell’s latest Daily Chronicle report…
DeKalb County State’s Attorney Clay Campbell said Kapitan is not under investigation by his office.
However, Campbell said Frieders came to his Sycamore office Thursday to consult with him and John Farrell regarding the situation involving Kapitan. Farrell is the head of the civil division for the county state’s attorney’s office.
Campbell, who was reached late Monday afternoon, said he couldn’t comment beyond that.
So Kapitan resigned for undisclosed personal reasons that the City Attorney thinks the County States Attorney should be consulted with about the day before Kapitan, Biernacki and Frieders sign a separation agreement. Oh, OK. And the mayor and city manager think its in Kapitan’s best interest and the City of DeKalb’s best interest to award a resigning elected official some $10,000 in severance pay. Oh, OK? And the agreement calls for silence on this, that and other matters. Oh.
Never a dull moment.