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Sauceda's status as Kane County Animal Control interim administrator in question

Published: Monday, May 5, 2014 6:11 p.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, May 6, 2014 7:16 a.m. CDT

GENEVA – The employment status of Kane County Animal Control Interim Administrator Robert Sauceda appears to be in question.

Sauceda's county cellphone number has been disconnected, according to Verizon. He was not at work Monday, according to a person answering the phone at animal control, but his office voicemail was operational.

This weekend, Sauceda, also a South Elgin village trustee, said that he cannot comment on his work status with the county.

Sauceda was made interim administrator in November at an annual salary of $65,000. 

Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen would not comment on Sauceda specifically, but said, "I have been made aware of a personnel situation in the health department."

"We're looking into it," he said. "Our research is preliminary, and until we complete our review of this personnel matter, we don't talk about personnel matters in a newspaper. When [Kane County Health Department Executive Director] Barb Jeffers has completed the research, then we'll know what the situation is within that process."

The health department oversees animal control. Jeffers would not comment Sunday about Sauceda's employment status.

Kane County Human Resources Executive Director Sheila McCraven did not return voicemail or email requests for information.

Kane County Board member Melisa Taylor, R-Sugar Grove, said she received communication from two sources that she would not disclose from within the department that Sauceda had to leave animal control on Friday and is on paid administrative leave.

Taylor said she was angry that she did not hear about it from the county administration, instead hearing about it from outsiders.

"We were not told anything," Taylor said Sunday. "County staff is zipped up, and the press is on fire on this. We should have been notified – rather than be notified via the press or the residents of the county – [from] the administration within the county. How are we supposed to represent our constituents when we don't know what's going on?"

Taylor, who lost her re-election bid in the March primary to Bill Lenert, said she is not looking "for all the gory details" however, she would expect to be notified about a high-profile county employee on administrative leave.

"We are not looking for details, just notification," Taylor said.

In an email she sent to all board members on Monday, Taylor called on Lauzen to provide information about Sauceda's employment status.

"I feel it is your responsibility, Mr. Lauzen, to notify all of the Kane County Board members of the situation to allow us to have the knowledge when addressing any and all questions that come to all of us from all of the press elements but most importantly, our Kane County constituents," Taylor's email stated.

Kane County State's Attorney Joe McMahon said it is not his office's policy to comment on pending or possible investigations.

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