SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — A state employee responsible for carrying a gun and overseeing an Illinois gun range didn't bother telling his bosses when he was arrested and had his own firearms taken away. Now he's out of a job.
Robert Schmalholz agreed to resign from his job as an inspector with the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, the Illinois Executive Inspector General's office said in a report released Monday. The department handles licensing and investigations of several professions, from medical doctors to locksmiths.
Schmalholz declined immediate comment when reached Monday by The Associated Press.
The report begins with an incident in 2009, when police in Carol Stream, a village about 30 miles west of Chicago, arrested Schmalholz and took his two guns. It does not specify why he was arrested because the charges were later dropped and his record cleared.
But Schmalholz didn't disclose the arrest to the department, which requires employees to report arrests or criminal allegations so it can monitor or investigate the situation. He kept working without carrying his gun as required for his job, and for his own and others' safety while conducting drug investigations, according to the report.
A medical investigator and controlled substance inspector since 1989, Schmalholz had supervised the gun range and other employees' qualifications to carry a gun for at least 10 years.
After police returned his guns, he continued carrying them at work even after his state-issued Firearms Owner's ID card expired, the report said. Carrying a gun without a valid FOID card is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of $2,500.
As an inspector, part of Schmalholz' job was to interpret and enforce the agency's policies and there is "simply no excuse" for his unprofessional conduct and FOID violation in a position where he was tasked with enforcing state laws, Executive Inspector General Ricardo Meza said in the report.
It's unclear when the department learned of his arrest and FOID violation, though he was fired in September following an investigation by Meza's office. Schmalholz began collecting his pension and his union filed a complaint on his behalf. In February, the department settled for his resignation with no right for future employment, to avoid court costs, according to the inspector general's report.
Report available at: http://www2.illinois.gov/eec/
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