MONTICELLO, Ill. (WCIA) – For the first time, our investigative team has gained insight into a leadership change within the Monticello Police Department.
Last Monday, Monticello Mayor Larry Stoner announced John Carter’s resignation as police chief. But, Carter’s resignation letter reveals he felt “pressure” to step down.
The city also disclosed his separation agreement and performance improvement plan. None of the documents divulge why Carter resigned, but his letter gives us some clues.
On November 7, John Carter wrote: “While the standard form resignation contract you provided states that it is signed without coercion, it is hard for me to separate my resignation from the pressure I feel from you – pressure that comes after years of no support from you, the mayor.”
In his resignation letter, Carter goes on to describe how he felt he could never succeed as police chief under Mayor Stoner.
“Members of the community have told me for years that you openly express your dislike toward me personally,” he wrote.
Carter accuses Stoner of going behind his back instead of approaching him directly with concerns.
Stoner called Carter in for a meeting on October 17. Two days later, Carter said he was asked to sign a resignation contract. But, he had 21 days to make a decision – and for three weeks – we asked city officials about it.
Until now, under the Freedom of Information Act, the city wouldn’t share documents regarding his resignation. Administrator Terry Summers told us twice via email on October 26: “The chief of police is still employed.”
We reached out to both Summers and Stoner to give their side of the story. Stoner said via email: “I would like to thank Chief Carter for his nine years of service to the City of Monticello and wish him much success in his future endeavors.”
We’ve reached out to Carter throughout this investigation and he has not responded. At last Monday’s city council meeting, we learned Lieutenant Terry Jones will be filling in as acting chief.
According to the separation agreement, the city will pay Carter the equivalent of 20 weeks of his regular wages, plus accrued vacation and the cost of “20 weeks premium for his health insurance continuation pursuant to COBRA,” totaling a gross amount of $45,712.24.
Read the full resignation letter below.