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Elburn board hears officer’s request for benefits

Trustees seek more information before decision

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014 5:30 a.m. CDT

ELBURN – A former Elburn police officer’s quest to receive public safety employee benefits, as a result of a fall he took while on duty Christmas Day in 2008, is on hold after village trustees opted Tuesday to seek more information about the request.

The retired officer, Steven Furlan, appeared at Tuesday’s Village Board meeting with his attorney, Richard Blass. Village Board members ultimately will decide whether Furlan meets specific standards. The first is that he suffered a catastrophic injury in the line of duty. The second is that the injury occurred in response to what is reasonably believed to be an emergency or during the investigation of a criminal act.

Furlan described the incident, in which he was performing a security check at Lions Park, at 500 S. Filmore St., Elburn. Furlan said he was walking around the building, checking to make sure doors and windows were locked when he slipped and took a hard fall, and his head struck the pavement. As a result, he said, he suffered injuries that do not allow him to perform the duties of a police officer. The board received information that three doctors had certified Furlan as disabled.

Board members said they want information, including case law cited by Blass. Bob Britz, the village’s attorney, said he would provide that information before the next village board meeting.

At issue was whether the security check could be considered an emergency situation, and if Furlan could have been considered under orders to conduct such a check on that particular night. Furlan said he approached any security check as a potential emergency, and that there had previously been incidents at the Lions Club. Board members asked Village Administrator Erin Willrett whether there had been any break-ins reported in that year, and she said there had been none reported.

Furlan said he suffers from dizzy spells that take place, for instance, when he checks tire pressure on a vehicle. Trustees asked whether he is able to drive, and he said he was, but when asked by Blass whether there is a difference between driving as a private citizen and driving as a police officer, Furlan said there is a difference.

The next scheduled Village Board meeting is set for March 3.

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