Fort ‘retires’ as deputy; to resign as school board/president
UPDATE: SCHOOL BOARD RESIGNATION CONFIRMED. REST OF THE ARTICLE FOLLOWS IN THE ORIGINAL FORMAT.
SALINE CO.—Todd Fort has now added ‘former’ to his status as Saline County sheriff’s deputy.
In a memo sent to Saline County Sherif DK Brown dated today and received some time between 1 and 1:30 p.m., Fort announced that he was “officially retiring as Saline County Sheriff’s Deputy.”
He thanked Brown for the opportunity to serve the county as deputy, and as chief deputy for the past almost four years, since Brown was elected sheriff. Fort was Brown’s appointment to the chief deputy position.
Fort just bonded out of the Jackson County Jail this past Saturday night with $25,000 raised by family and friends. He was jailed Tuesday, July 20, after an Illinois State Police investigation turned up allegations that he had been having an illicit sexual relationship with a 17-year-old Harrisburg High school student who was working at the Saline County sheriff’s department, under Fort’s direct supervision, as an intern.
On July 19, Fort was caught with the girl in his squad, by the girl’s father, as they were traveling through Harrisburg. This resulted in a high-speed chase and intensive questioning of the girl, who informed investigators that the relationship had been going on since about three weeks after she turned 17 (in early April). However, sources close to the family have indicated to Disclosure that the relationship may have actually dated back to a year ago.
Fort’s attorney, Bryan Drew, reportedly held a press conference today to state that Fort had ‘retired.’
What Drew didn’t explain is that upon Fort’s release from jail, he contacted Brown, and the two had a meeting this past Sunday afternoon (08.22.10) about Fort’s continued employment. Fort had not been being paid as deputy since his arrest, as he had not been working. However, early on, Brown had removed the ‘chief’ designation from Fort’s deputy status.
Drew also probably didn’t express that a union hearing (the union representing the police employees) had been scheduled for tomorrow….and the ‘retirement’ pre-empts the hearing.
Fort remains on the Harrisburg Schools school board, this being an elected, and not appointed or hired, position. He also remains the school board president, this position being selected among the school board members and voted upon. There has been no movement on change of this status; however, the school board has called upon Fort to resign.
Fort remains under a no-contact order as a bond condition. He is also under and Order of Protection as sought two weeks ago by the father of the girl, who, as a minor, is still under her father’s care and custody. Fort cannot go within 500 feet of the high school, although that doesn’t seem to have much impact on his duties as an elected school board official, or board president.
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