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Holiday Hills police chief resigns

Published: Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014 5:38 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, Aug. 6, 2014 12:01 a.m. CDT

HOLIDAY HILLS – The part-time police chief for Holiday Hills resigned Monday evening despite an attempt by some Village Board members to get him to stay.

Police Chief Larry Mason will continue to work with the department, where he has been the chief since January 2008, during the transition to a new chief, Village President Dan Drury said, adding that he has picked an interim police chief.

His choice – Prairie Grove Police Sgt. Tony Colatorti – was one of three finalists to be Holiday Hills' new police chief in 2008 and requires board approval.

"I knew it was coming, so I had been looking around and I had some feelers out," Drury said in a phone interview Tuesday.

During a closed-door meeting after the regular Village Board meeting Monday, the village president, trustees and Mason discussed the terms of his resignation.

They reached a verbal "settlement agreement" and parted on good terms, Drury said. Mason's resignation was backdated to July 26.

Drury was not part of the group that wanted to keep Mason on as the village's chief.

"Chief Mason and President Drury have differing opinions as to how the police department should be run," Village Clerk Maura Kirchner said.

A special meeting was called by three trustees – Kathy Andrews, Rich Young and Ken Anderson – to be held before the regularly scheduled meeting. The agenda said the board would discuss and vote on a motion to reinstate Mason as the chief of police.

None returned a request for comment made through Kirchner on Tuesday afternoon.

Drury said the resignation was unrelated to a five-day paid suspension Mason received in May. Drury declined to give the reason for the suspension but said it was not related to anything illegal.

The resignation also is unrelated to Mason leaving the Wonder Lake Police Department, where he also served as a part-time police chief, Wonder Lake Village President Tony Topf said.

Mason left the Wonder Lake department because of personal reasons, Topf said, adding that he wasn't in any threat of getting fired in Wonder Lake. He was named Wonder Lake's police chief in 2010 after working as an officer there since 2006.

"He was actually a judge for the Wonder Lake Fourth of July parade," Topf said, adding that Mason also stayed on a month after submitting his resignation while the village looked for a new chief.

Mason did not return requests for interview made through Topf and Drury.

Mason has been working with various law enforcement agencies since his retirement from the Illinois State Police in 1993.

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