CAO Smith's Contract
There appears to be a difference of opinion on if CAO is an At Will or a contract employee. This is important because if the village terminates her without just cause, we could be on the hook to buy out her contract if she's a contract employee.
When CAO Smith was hired, her contract was signed by Paul Serwatka for 1 year renewing unless notice was given 60 days before the end (April) for the term of the existing presidency. It appears that our current Village Attorney feels that this term means Phil Stephan's presidency, but a previous board was able to terminate a previous Village Manager for the sheer fact that the contract was not signed by the existing president.
I'm not a lawyer, but given the way this has been handled in the past, it would be my belief that her contract does not play a part into whether there can be administrative leave; termination; or an independent investigation.