22 Aug 2014
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Village Attorneys Prepare a Response to Tinley Police K-9 Handler's Lawsuit

The village has more than three weeks left to respond to the lawsuit, which was officially presented to them about 10 days ago, officials said.

Village Attorneys Prepare a Response to Tinley Police K-9 Handler's Lawsuit

has until Nov. 28 to respond by a officer and K-9 handler, officials said this week.

“It’s just the initial answer to our complaint that’s due then,” said the officer’s attorney, David E. Stevens. “It could be a court pleading, it could be a motion to dismiss. There are other responses they can file other than just pleading.”

The officer, Bob Diorio, filed the litigation Sept. 23 against the village in order to collect money for the time he spends caring for the department’s service animal, Thor.

He’s seeking two to three years worth for the time he spends with the pup outside of his regular work hours, though Stevens wouldn’t say Wednesday what that amount to in dollar signs.

“Of course there’s a number that we’re thinking of but without having spoken to the village or their attorneys, I don’t want to say,” he said. “It’s going to be a component … of his hourly wage rate (and) the number of hours that he was working per week … If his payroll records show he only worked 20 hours in a week, the additional hours we're seeking wouldn't be considered overtime.”

The extra time with Thor should be calculated on a time-and-a-half basis, if it is indeed considered overtime, Stevens said.

“Until we know how many hours he was working in a week, looking at the actual payroll records, we wont be doing those computations to form demands,” he noted.

Tinley Park Mayor Ed Zabrocki said he hasn’t talked to Diorio or Stevens regarding the matter. The village pays Diorio a $2,000 stipend—that’s on top of his $83,096 salary—for being the K-9 officer, according to village documents.

Zabrocki said he was also reimbursed last fiscal year with nearly $1,500 for pet food and supplies.

The lawsuit was officially presented to the village less than two weeks ago, Zabrocki said.

“We’re going to follow through with it the way we normally would,” he said. “We’ll file the necessary paperwork.”

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