Metro-East News

Former Caseyville police chief is denied unemployment benefits

The Illinois Department of Employment Security has ruled that former Caseyville Police Chief Jose Alvarez is not eligible for unemployment benefits.

The ruling issued Friday by Clifton L. Flex, administrative law judge, says Alvarez was discharged by the Village of Caseyville on May 21, 2014, for insubordination, thus he is denied benefits..

“He failed to follow the directives ... and he created a hostile work environment. The employer was harmed by a detrimental effect on the supervisory authority and a detrimental effect on employee morale,” Flex said.

The law, according to the ruling, says that a person is ineligible for benefits for the weeks in which he has been discharged for misconduct connected with his work and thereafter until he becomes re-employed and has earnings equal to or in excess of his current weekly benefit amount in each of four calendar weeks.

Flex clarified further saying, “The word ‘misconduct’ means the deliberate and willful violation of a reasonable rule or policy of the employing unit, governing the individual’s behavior in the performance of his work and constitutes insubordination as well.”

Neither Alvarez nor his attorney, Robert Jones of Belleville, could be reached for comment.

Alvarez filed for unemployment benefits in the summer of 2014. The village took the position he was ineligible because he was terminated for misconduct.

Brian Manion from the Weilmuenster and Keck law firm in Belleville, who represents Caseyville, said he and village officials are pleased with the ruling.

“It was a long hearing over two days. We had lots of witnesses. We feel it was the right result,” Manion said.

Any benefits that Alvarez has already received must be repaid to the Illinois Department of Unemployment Security based on Flex’s ruling.

Contact reporter Carolyn P. Smith at 618-239-2503.