Village Manager Barwin knew that payments over $25,000 required board approval. [PeopleSoft probe results are in, news, Feb. 18] His decision to issue a series of checks in amounts just under that threshold was a deliberate act and must not be ignored, tolerated or blamed on procedural problems. He breached his contract and the public trust. Village employees have been fired for less serious offenses.

Will Oak Park now have a different standard for judging the actions of staff and management? A private firm should not have been hired to conduct the internal investigation. The village board is charged with overseeing the performance of only one employee, the village manager. When the village president and trustees declined to exercise their authority, they established an unacceptable precedent.

James Coughlin
Oak Park

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