The Plainfield Park District started its own soccer program this year, and though the season just began in April, there have already been big changes.
Park board commissioner Larry Newton on Thursday confirmed that sports groups/soccer program facilitator Frank Hernandez is no longer with the park district, and the position has been eliminated.
A memo sent to the park board Monday by Interim Executive Director Richard Grodsky said simply, "Effective immediately Frank Hernandez's programs have been shifted to the recreation department staff as Frank is no longer employed by the Park District."
Plainfield Park District Director of Communications Doug Booth declinced to comment on Hernandez's departure on Thursday, but said the program will be overseen by Director of Recreation Cheryl Crisman.
Booth said the soccer program will finish the season; after that, staff will evaluate the program and determine whether it will continue next year.
According to park district documents posted on the
Plainfield FOICH website, Hernandez was hired in November 2013 at a salary of $39,500.
The inaugural season for the soccer program was marked by controversy after the Plainfield Soccer Association — which had worked closely with the park district for years —
reported that equipment was missing from a shed on park district property. PSA officials also questioned why, in some cases, out-of-town teams were given preferential scheduling on park district fields. The
issues were largely resolved at a park board special meeting in March.
According to the Herald-News, former park board president Peter Hurtado, who is still a member of the board, previously volunteered as a coach for PSA, but quit in 2010 after an incident in which he said he pointed out a bad call to a young referee. He said a woman from PSA "came to me and started screaming at me" after he spoke to the referee.