Cop To Rejoin Police Aug.13; What He May Face

An arbitrator ordered the village of NIles to re-hire a Niles Police officer who was terminated after being accused of sexual assault in January 2010. What will he face? One in a series of articles about the incident.

Fotis Markadas is expected to rejoin the Niles Police Department as a police officer Monday, Aug. 13, his attorney, Jerry Marzullo said.

The village of Niles had terminated the employment of Markadas, a then-10-year veteran of the department, in the bar's basement in January 2010, according to news reports and village documents.

No criminal charges were filed in the case.

However, the police department terminated Markadas in May 2010 because of the incident, according to a

Because Markadas was a member of the police union, called the Metropolitan Alliance of Police, and he wanted his job back, the union and the village entered collective bargaining. An arbitrator found that .

His annual salary will be $82,272.49, according to the village of Niles. 

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Markadas' attorney, Niles Police Chief Dean Strzelecki and a psychologist who founded a graduate school program in police psychology all weighed in on what that might mean for the department and residents.

Police Camaraderie

When Markadas re-enters the police department after an absence of about two years and two months, one factor at play will be the close and interdependent relationship among any department police officers, and how his fellow officers regard him, said Debra Warner, Psy.D., who founded a program in police psychology at The Chicago School of Professional Psychology.

"From my experience, [police] need to have trust in their partner and fellow officers, because it's a very dangerous job," Warner said. "I have seen it [this spirit of brotherhood/sisterhood] as more of a supportive thing, but they do give one another feedback when feedback is warranted."

Her colleague Daniela Schreier, Psy.D, ABPP, a clinical and forensic psychologist and associate professor at The Chicago School, said, "A male partner in a squad car might think 'Did this guy rape or touch that girl?' But he still may believe his partner has his back. These are two different things."

She pointed out, though, that a female police officer might have different thoughts on this subject than a male, as she may feel it impacts her safety in the workplace.

Marzullo, Markadas' attorney, said his client has tried to maintain ties by keeping in touch informally with fellow officers he used to work with. 

Warner also said a re-entering officer would need to learn a lot of things that have changed in the past two years.

"Police departments constantly have new routines and new procedures," she said.

Markadas is scheduled to take a police refresher course to get up to date.

Attitude On Re-entering

Warner indicated a police officer accused of a crime who is re-entering after an absence could face some anxiety.

"He doesn't know what to expect. You don't know what everybody's thinking," she said.

However, Marzullo said Markadas is pleased about the arbitrator's decision.

"I can't speak for Fotis, buti think he feels very happy," Marzullo said. "Fotis is in his mid-to-late 30s and he just wants to go back to work."

Markadas wants to be able to send his daughter to college, Marzullo said, adding Markadas is married.

Direction From the Top

Another factor that affects how a police force will accept an officer who is re-entering after being under suspicion is the reaction of leadership, Warner said. 

"It (his re-entry) depends on the department and the climate. Whatever is the norm is what will probably happen. Is the norm to welcome him back or shun him and tell him what he did wrong? It really depends on the leadership and what the leadership dictates for them to do," Warner said.

The village fought the arbitrator's original ruling, which would have awarded Markadas 21 months of back pay, and succeeded in getting that amount lowered, .

Marzullo also said the village gave Markadas the ultimate sign he wasn't welcome when they fired him.

"But that doesn't mean you just give up your career," Marzullo said. "He just wants to go back to work and put this behind him."

Niles Police Chief Dean Strzelecki echoed that sentiment in commenting on Markadas' rejoining the department.  

"We have put this matter behind us and are moving forward," he wrote in an email Tuesday. 

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