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Motley wants police chief replacement ‘by the end of the month’

Wayne Motley

Wayne Motley

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Updated: August 19, 2013 1:26PM

The long-term future of the police chief’s post in Waukegan should start to take shape over the next two weeks, with Mayor Wayne Motley saying on Monday, July 15, that he’s trying to determine if interim chief Wayne Walles will take the job beyond temporary status.

Motley named Walles, a 20-year department veteran who had been serving as deputy chief, to the interim post on July 1 following the resignation of Robert Kerkorian. The change came after weeks of controversy following revelations that Kerkorian made false statements about having trained as a Navy SEAL in the 1980s.

At the July 1 City Council meeting, Motley announced that he had asked for and accepted Kerkorian’s resignation as chief. Kerkorian returned to his previous rank as a commander with the department, and Walles’ appointment as interim chief was made without elaboration on any future plans for a permanent replacement.

Prior to this week’s council meeting, Motley said he has offered Walles the job full-time, and “he’s contemplating what he wants to do. Once he makes that decision, if he chooses not to be the chief, then I will conduct a search for a new chief.”

“I asked him if he would take the job, and I told him I’d give him a little time to evaluate that,” Motley added. “If he tells me no, I’ll start the process right away.”

Asked if he had a time frame in mind for either removing the interim label or conducting a search for candidates, Motley said he hopes to have the situation resolved “by the end of the month.”

Waukegan mayors have looked in-house for their police chiefs in recent decades, with at least the last six department heads — Kerkorian, Daniel Greathouse, Artis Yancey, William Biang, Miguel Juarez and Scott Burleson — having been promoted from within.

The appointments of police chiefs are confirmed with the advice and consent of the City Council, and Kerkorian’s nomination by Motley was approved by unanimous council vote on May 6.

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