Hawthorn Woods Police Chief Jennifer Paulus | Photo: Village of Hawthorn Woods

Hawthorn Woods Police Chief Jennifer Paulus was placed on paid leave this month before her retirement next year, at which point she will not be able to work for the village again, documents show.

According to a voluntary separation agreement obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request by Lake and McHenry County Scanner, Paulus was placed on paid leave starting October 1 through March 31, 2022.

Lake and McHenry County Scanner requested the Village of Hawthorn Woods release all available documents pertaining to Paulus’ resignation. The village refused to release all of the documents, only releasing some of them.

Lake and McHenry County Scanner will be requesting the Office of the Illinois Attorney General to review the partial denial.

Pamela Newton, the village’s chief operating officer, told Lake and McHenry County Scanner that Paulus is on paid leave because she has accrued her sick and vacation leave time, which is being paid overtime versus a lump sum.

The agreement, which was signed on July 23, stated that Paulus will voluntarily resign from her employment with the village on March 31, 2022, in “good standing.”

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The agreement states that Paulus will not perform any work for the village, which includes not attending any hearings, board meetings and village conferences or events, from the period between October 1 through March 31, 2022.

During the period, Paulus will be paid her current salary and her accrued time, including but not limited to sick time, vacation time and holiday time.

Paulus will also be paid the value of her severance pay and the village will cover the shortfall once her accrued time is exhausted.

The agreement also states that Paulus will not be allowed to seek future employment with the village under any circumstances.

The agreement was approved 5-0 by village officials in July.

Paulus, the first female police chief in Lake County, served 23 years in law enforcement for Hawthorn Woods, 16 of those as chief of police, the village said last month.

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Newton told Lake and McHenry County Scanner that interim police chief Larry Maraviglia will serve as chief of police for the department.

An email sent by Newton to village employees in August stated that John Malcolm, former Lake Zurich fire chief and the chairman of the village’s board of police commissioners, was hired to serve as the new director of public safety for the village.

The new civilian position oversees the police department, the village’s emergency management services and the coordination of the four fire districts serving the village.

Malcolm is a 33-year resident of Hawthorn Woods and has served as the emergency management coordinator for Mount Prospect, the email said. He has also earned certifications in incident management and command.

Malcolm left his position as chairman of the village’s board of police commissioners to take the new position.

“During my tenure, I have enjoyed working with so many exceptional members of the law enforcement community. It has been an honor and privilege to serve the extraordinary men and women of the Police Department and the citizens of Hawthorn Woods,” Paulus said.

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“It has been an amazing journey and career and I extend my deepest gratitude to all of those people I have come to know and serve.”

“I am proud to be the first female Police Chief in Lake County and the longest-serving Chief in Hawthorn Woods’ history. I would like everyone to know what a professional and dedicated group of people serve them every day. I am extremely proud of the work we have done and the missions we have accomplished over the years,” she said.

“I have done my best to create a progressive, professional, and dedicated Police Department that assures its residents, businesses, and motorists a safe and secure community. Ultimately, it is time for me to move onto another chapter of my life and take advantage of new opportunities,” Paulus added.