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Oak Lawn OKs $100K Separation Deal With Ex-Manager

A Chicago suburb will pay its former village manager nearly $100,000 in separation benefits following his retirement after being charged in a hit-and-run crash that critically injured a pedestrian.

The Oak Lawn Village Board voted to approve a deal with Larry Deetjen that provides him with $53,067 for unused vacation time and a one-time payment of $46,834, or three months severance pay, as his employment contract stipulates if terminated without cause, the Chicago Tribune reported Thursday.

The 70-year-old Deetjen retired Nov. 19 shortly after being charged with three misdemeanors and two traffic citations in connection with the Oct. 10 crash while driving a village-owned vehicle. He was village manager for 12 years.

The deal approved Tuesday calls for Deetjen to assist his successor with the transition on an as-needed basis for up to one year, and he will remain covered by the village’s insurance policies through the one-year transition period. That means Oak Lawn could be liable for his legal fees and any damages awarded to the victim if he's sued over the crash in nearby Chicago Ridge.

The victim, Mark Berkshire of Worth, who police said was homeless, suffered multiple fractures to his body and head and brain swelling.

Deetjen’s attorney, Michael Walsh, declined comment on the separation agreement.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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