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Jody Weis' $76K Vacation Bonus

By Chuck Sudo in News on Jun 21, 2011 1:00PM

The Police Department rank-and-file weren't sad to see former Superintendent Jody Weis leave when he resigned in March. Today the Sun-Times reports that Weis collected a check for unused vacation pay as he left totaling $76,308.

Weis' vacation check tops a list of lump sum unused vacation payments doled out to outgoing Daley Administration staffers during the transition to Rahm Emanuel's mayoralship. Weis' bonus payment for 64 unused vacation days, besides its largesse, raises a few questions. Per the Bright One.

For one, he started work on Feb. 1, 2008, but still claimed 25 vacation days that year when he was eligible for none. The former superintendent also got 25 vacation days in both 2009 and 2010, even though civilian employees are only eligible for 13 vacation days.

After taking a firearms course that allowed him to carry a gun and wear a police uniform — a decision that went over like a lead balloon with rank-and-file police officers — Weis claimed the 25 vacation days guaranteed sworn personnel.

In June, 2010, after entering the final year of his three-year contract, Weis made a policy decision that increased his vacation payment even more.

He changed the policy governing vacation carryover to allow “command staff members” including himself and Masters to carry up to 39 unused vacation days from one year to the next “when circumstances prohibited the use of current and prior year’s allotments.”

Weis and his former chief of staff Mike Masters -- now head of Cook County's Homeland Security department -- took full advantage of the rule change using the exact same words to justify doing so: "Unable to use due to operational needs."

Weis, in an email to the Sun-Times, said the change was necessary because the Fire Department had the same policy and that members of his command staff were required to either lose the days or take extra long vacations in addition to required furlough days, which he claimed would negatively affect operations. As for his own vacation bonus, Weis said it was vetted.