Dear Dan Haley,

I assume you noticed the recent column written by your columnist, Ken Trainor [Finding our way in the darkness, Viewpoints, Nov. 5], the one referring to the Al Jazeera America article describing the real Allen Parker, Oak Park’s village manager in the mid-’90s. It gives us all a chance to take a fresh look at what caused Parker’s firing.

In a nutshell, Parker was found to be receiving, after his second anniversary, 35 days of vacation each year when his contract called only for 20 days. Rather than correct this obvious administrative error, Parker proceed to cash in the extra, unearned amount. By the time of his first 2.5 years of service he had cashed in some 45 days, valued then at $16,000, while also using 23 vacation days and claiming a reserve balance of 23 days. No city manager in America comes even close to having such a vacation benefit. Even worse, Parker might have continued claiming these unauthorized benefits for the duration of his tenure in Oak Park if he wasn’t stopped.

I realize that you were misled by those around you, plus three of my village trustees, into believing what you wrote in your editorial titled, “Plain & simple, it’s just a stupid firing.” Still, you went a bit overboard in your negative rhetoric. It is now time to do what Trainor did. It took courage and integrity for Ken to do it. Let’s see if you can match him.

Dan, we now live in a global world. Could any of us, 19 years ago, guess that a grossly uninformed rant written by you in 1995 would become exposed for what it was in 2014 by a group of journalists at a news service that calls itself Al Jazeera America?

Lawrence Christmas

Former village president, 1993-97

Join the discussion on social media!

One reply on “Time to own up”