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and country." <br /> The chief said he planned to place Gadacz on administrative leave with pay, effective <br /> Monday, when the firefighter is scheduled to return to duty. That action represents the <br /> full extent of what the chief is authorized to do. <br /> The Board of Public Safety, not scheduled for a regular meeting until March 14, has <br /> called a special meeting for 8:30 a.m. Wednesday (March 7, 2007)to consider placing <br /> Gadacz on administrative leave without pay. <br /> "Once criminal charges have been filed, the board cannot bring disciplinary charges <br /> against him while criminal charges are pending," Bodnar said, describing the board's <br /> oversight of the police and fire departments. "The practice of the chiefs of each <br /> department whenever there's a criminal charge -- felony or misdemeanor, traffic or <br /> otherwise—is to recommend that the officer be placed on administrative leave without <br /> pay <br /> Further action against Gadacz by the Board of Public Safety would await the outcome of <br /> the criminal proceedings. If a suspended firefighter or police officer is exonerated, the <br /> board may choose to award back pay. Of nearly 10 cases in which the board has ordered <br /> administrative leave without pay, in only one incident were charges dismissed. <br /> According to state statute, a firefighter or a police officer cannot hold a position in public <br /> safety if convicted of a felony. <br /> A 29-year veteran of the fire department, Gadacz is eligible to retire. "Jim certainly has <br /> been one of our most outstanding captains, has been great in the role of leadership as <br /> captain and has presented himself very professionally throughout his career. That's why <br /> it's a very sad day for me," Taylor said. <br /> - 30 - <br />