New Calumet chief removed on technicality

CALUMET — The Calumet Village Council Tuesday night voted to remove the village’s recently hired police chief, Joel Dobis, due to a legal technicality.

The General Law Village Act states when a police officers is hired, he must be certified by the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLE).

While Dobis was hired by the council on Nov. 15, 2016, his MCOLE certification was not effective until Dec. 5.

“What the council voted on last night was to again begin the process of employing a chief police,” Dave Geisler, village president said.

Geisler said that while viewed the issue as a legal technicality, some council members viewed it otherwise.

“The council felt that because this deficiency existed, they should begin the process over again, and if Joel wants to apply, he is welcome to,” Geisler said.

The General Law Village Act dates back to 1895, Geisler said. In Michigan, there are two types of villages: a charter village and a general law village, of which Calumet is one.

“It’s been amended several times, and is an act to provide for the village to define the powers and duties of the village,” Geisler said. .

Geisler said that the entire thing is regrettable, because there is a human being involved. He said Dobis is understandably upset at the action, which, Geisler said, is no surprise.

“Again, I want to emphasize there was no wrong-doing, no deception,” Geisler said. We’re not always knowledgeable in every aspect of the General Law act. We are volunteers, and we’re not always aware of everything.”

A special meeting is scheduled to take place Jan. 31 at 6 p.m. at the Calumet Village Hall, so the council can discuss and decide how to move forward on the issue.