Oak Lawn’s Highest Paid Village Employees

The Oak Lawn village manager, emergency telecommunicator, police chief, and public safety employees draw the highest salaries among village employees. See the full list of all village employees' salaries.

The Village of Oak Lawn posted the 2012 salaries of village employees on its website. Earnings include gross wages (before taxes) and do not include benefits, such as healthcare. We've included some of the top earners, and randomly chosen municipal employees for perspective.

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The highest paid employee was Larry Deetjen, whose salary remained the same from the year before at 154,732. Laura A. Skala, a telecommunicator who works in the village’s Emergency Communications Center, was the second highest-paid, village employee earning 151,999.90.

The village fire department out earned the police department, leading with 65 100K+ salary earners, compared to the 32 police officers that made $100,000 or more in 2012.

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The job titles include batalion chief, firefighter/paramedic, fire enginerr, police watch commander, police sergeant and patrol officer.

Oak Lawn’s top cop, Police Chief Bill Villanova, made $137,000 last year

Village Fire Bureau chief James E. Leikel out earned his boss, Fire Chief George Sheets; both earned 133,817 and $117,880, respectively.

A village custodian made more money than the full-time village clerk.

See how Oak Lawn compares to Evergreen Park 2012 salaries.

Dave Heilmann is paid $46,384 for his part-time services as village president; his mayor’s salary is the same as last year’s.

Tom Phelan (Dist. 6) was the highest paid village trustee at $9,200; followed by the second-highest, Tom Duhig (Dist. 4) and Alex Olejniczak (Dist. 2), who both made $8,200 in 2012.

Cindy Trautsch (Dist. 1), Bob Streit (Dist. 3) and Carol Quinlan (Dist. 5) were all paid $7,200 for their work as trustees last year.

It’s all public information.

View the full list by clicking on the PDF document. 

Here are the top $100,000+ earners working for the Village of Oak Lawn.

Employee Position Salary
  • Larry Deetjen, Village Manager, $154,732
  • Laura Skala, Telecommunicator, $151,999
  • Bill Villanova, Chief of Police, $137,000
  • James E. Leikel, Fire Bureau Chief, $133,817
  • Robert A. Wesselhoff, Fire Captain, $131,354
  • Michael Bowman, Fire Captain, $128,848
  • Todd Standord, Firefighter/paramedic $128,848
  •  Robert Pawlowski, Police Division Chief, $127,900
  • Michael Kaufmann, Police Division Chief, $127,900
  • Brian Tiernen, Fire Lt. $127,799
  •  Melvin Clark, Police Watch Lt. $127,016
  • Joseph Stubss, Police Lt. $126,623
  • Dennis Doyle, Police Watch Lt. $126,610
CAJ February 06, 2013 at 09:54 PM
And why are these people paid that much? They're certainly not brain surgeons. Why do we taxpayers allow public servant salaries to rise so high when many of us lay awake at night wondering how we're going to pay our bills? Like high Oak Lawn property taxes, for one example. We pay these people that much for so little in return. Doesn't make sense, folks.
CAJ February 06, 2013 at 10:24 PM
I see nothing wrong with posting salaries; these salaries are paid-for with taxpayer funds. Swanson's article does not make a judgment either way. Posting public salaries is normal journalism practice. As far as "waking up at 2 am, plowing streets and being 10 ft. deep in water", obviously the folks who do this are well-compensated. They're not doing it out of the goodness of their hearts. I'm sure there's many people in these though economic times who would be glad to get-up at 2 am if it meant having a good job. No sour grapes here; let's just keep these salaries in perspective.
Mike February 06, 2013 at 10:32 PM
Whats so difficult with navigating their site to find this information? 1) Go to http://www.oaklawn-il.gov/Home.aspx 2) Left column at the bottom : http://www.oaklawn-il.gov/Left-Menu/Village-of-Oak-Lawn-Employee-Wages.aspx Should this be in its own image in the flash image rotator (top & center)?
James Manning February 07, 2013 at 03:38 AM
Salaries are public record because they are paid by the public. If you don't like people to know don't work for the village pure and simple
Katie Van Vossen February 07, 2013 at 09:26 AM
I Believe the police n firemen should b well paid! but some of the other salaries r ridiculously high...especially for the ones who sit in a nicely furnished office all day and are NOT out there putting their life's on the line! I mean come on ppl ...6 figure salary for village manager n telecommunicator???? maybe if we lowered some of these salaries this village wouldn't be so broke!! we could use this money to offset our high property taxes n give residents a break on them...not just the elderly but everyone!! or maybe if they give up some money the village could create more after school programs or better drug awareness programs for teens Cuz one thing this village seems to be keeping hush hush is the awful heroin ...n other drug issues plaguing ol schools! we all need to wake up ...including village officials ....n see the bigger picture here we need to act as a community as one n not residents vs officials!
Peter lemon jello February 07, 2013 at 12:20 PM
Salaries sure weren't an issue pre 2008. Misery loves company though.
Kevin February 07, 2013 at 12:33 PM
These salaries are way to high
Joe not Moe... February 07, 2013 at 04:04 PM
That may be the most ignorant thingI have seen written. What because people who work a trade? or as a Firefighter or Police Officer shouldnt make that much money because "you Caj" look down at what they do as menial. That is a load of crap. Most if not all the employees who work for the Village earn every dollar. I know the Police went to College, and the employees who are in the Skilled Trades went through and apprenticeship and have years of training to justify thier salary. Nothing irkes me more than people who sit behind a desk, or do something else besides a trade or police or fire think we are all idiots and dont deserve the salaries we earn. I dont work for the village but I am in a trade. I find those kinds of comment way over the top. What would you prefer? Paying below scale for people to perform public work? Then you would see even more problems and even higher costs due to things not getting done properly.. maybe you shouldn't worry about what firemen or a heavy machinery operator make, and concentrate on your own job and family.
Joe not Moe... February 07, 2013 at 04:34 PM
Here lies in the problem with posting "ALL" the salaries of the village employee's. People who work in the private sector, or who are not in the trades, see how much we make and take offense. Why, because they feel what we do, as public servants or tradesmen and women somehow should make less money than someone who is not. I like many other tradesmen, or policemen and firemen have College Degree's. I have two degree's, one BA, one AA, and then I completed an apprenticeship program from my Union. Now, when people see that we make somewhere in the neighborhood between 65k and 90k they take offense to that. Why? Because we work with our hands? Why is sitting behind a desk as a programmer, banker, financial analyst or in a car making sales calls, entitle people who do this type of work feel they should make more than a public servant or tradesmen? It doesn't make sense. You get paid your worth by the career you choose. I know I will never make a couple hundred thousand dollars a year no matter how much OT I work. That's the trade-off. I know I will have a pension, I will have my deferred comp, and I'll have my roth and real estate investment. That I set up on my own. I'll take the security of being in a trade or being a fireman or police. These lists should not be published. Granted they are public employees but I don't need to know what a Equipment operator or admin makes. If you want to show me the village hierarchy fine leave the rest out.. Sorry for the rant.
IPFWGK1 February 07, 2013 at 04:59 PM
Last time I read about any regular employee making more than certain high level officers, be it either fire or police, that employee was advised of her 'early retirement' promptly after the information was released. A telecommunicator is almost the highest paid employee in the Village of Oak Lawn? Really? All you people do is slam how Oak Lawn runs its finances and not one eyebrow is raised?
Joe not Moe... February 07, 2013 at 05:43 PM
For who? What should the be? The same as wal mart or something?
James Manning February 07, 2013 at 06:52 PM
Joe you make some good points, all I'm saying is that if you get paid with taxpayer money we have a right to see who gets it. Not saying anything about whether you deserve it or not.
wacky times February 07, 2013 at 07:01 PM
Move to Harvey you twit....best Police/Fire Depts in the world......
CAJ February 07, 2013 at 09:41 PM
Quote - "If you want to show me the village hierarchy fine leave the rest out " - endquote. Hey "Joe not Moe", that's who I was talking about and I never used the word "menial". I guess you missed the former and imagined the latter. As far as "leaving the rest out", any taxpayer-based salary is open for public discussion. It's very revealing about you that you have no problem in salaries being known as long as it doesn't directly affect you or your friends. And since you brought-up police and fireman, I'll say yes, they do make darn good money and without having to work a full-year. That's why they can always find sidework, usually in the trades, and undercut legitimate tradesman who depend upon that work for their economic survival. And yes, I do speak from personal experience.
comic relief February 08, 2013 at 12:07 AM
the average employee a normal 40 hour work week with 2 weeks of vacation comes out to 2080 hours.the highest paid telecommunicator, Laura, works about 3200 hours in a calendar year. so what is the issue?
Peter lemon jello February 08, 2013 at 03:00 AM
Kevin, blueline.com shows all upcoming police/fire tests. Take one. I have a B.A. In business FYI. I'm just as smart as you. Fin
Joe not Moe... February 08, 2013 at 12:20 PM
Quote "And why are these people paid that much? They're certainly not brain surgeons". end quote. I'll elaborate. You never said menial, however, you did intimate it by your quote that people working for the Village doing admin, police.,fire and trade work should not be making the salary they earn CAJ, you never said the top salary earners for the Village either. Also, any one can do side work, not just Police and Firemen. Yes they do trade work, a lot have a Card in that trade and do legitimate work, others dont. Not appropriate, but that is another thing all together, not right at all. Again, that shouldn't matter in this discussion. Sure Firemen, and Police can do side work, so can any one. A lot of Teachers, sell insurance or Real Estate in the summer and on there breaks. People in the private sector have second jobs as well, bartending, real estate, whatever. My point is these people (village employees)should not have to have to answer about the money they make unless there is some sort of irregularities. I think we can all agree on that. Why is a Police Man making 100k? Maybe the department is understaffed?? The Village has a responsibility to account for these salaries, if we are understaffed then change your staffing levels. Maybe its Vacation Coverage? Obviously staffing is an issue, maybe that needs to be fixed from all this OT, its obvious some departments are short on staff.
anthony February 09, 2013 at 01:18 AM
Now we see where all the mayors "moral support" comes from.... As good as reason as any... More so if it was done with a handshake and a wink..
Nikki Mackovitch February 10, 2013 at 04:27 PM
If I pay your salary, I deserve to know what you make, period. If you do not want your salary published, do not take a public position. I am not sure who put the bitter in your coffee, or what makes you want to argue everything so much. I do hope you find peace soon my friend, because is this really with your time and energy? If you cannot find something better to do, try donating time to those who need it. As for the salaries, some are truly deserved and some I just don't understand. But then again, I don't know all that their position entails, just as I am sure you don't either. So neither one of us can make a true judgement as to whether they are deserved or not.
juan serrano February 10, 2013 at 09:21 PM
I am curious to know what the surronding Villages Employee Wages are? I have to believe the results of these high salaries. I have a relative who is a employeed by a Village just west of Oak Lawn. For the same job in City Hall, his salary is about half of what Oak Lawn is paying. Is this the reason Oak Lawn Inspectors are targeting homer owners with petty violations & fines? If the Patch wants to do something for the people of Oak Lawn, why not publish some of the ridiculous fines that are being handed out by Oak Lawn Village inspectors. I would like to see a list published on this site so the voters can make a better choice in the next election. I sat in that hearing and it was a joke. A $150 fine for a 10 roofing shingles in a package on the side of someone's house. $100 fine for a lawn mower in the yard, on the side of a home owners garage. $500 dollar fine for a missing piece of siding. These were residents of Oak Lawn for 20 years. These grossly overpaid Village Officials don't have to worry about making ends meet every month on their big salaries. Many home owners are out of work and just barely getting by month to month. They can't afford to pay these fines for petty offenses. Since when can't you keep a lawn mower in your yard? Who's idea was it to send inspectors out to find any violation they can find? The Mayor? Village Manager? The Trustees?
Lorraine Swanson (Editor) February 10, 2013 at 11:07 PM
Juan, We linked out Evergreen Park's municipal salaries for comparison. In case you missed it, http://patch.com/A-z5tR. Thanks for your posts on Facebook. Please email me, lorraine.swanson@patch.com. I want to talk to you about the adjudication hearings.
Rick March 04, 2013 at 07:13 PM
Government Union Job = Southwest Side Lotto. How else could they afford all the taverns and Sox games?
JC April 18, 2013 at 09:30 PM
In this economy you could hire 3 people on this ridiculous salary ($150K) for a woman answering the phone. She is laughing all the way to the bank on our backs. Fire her if she will not take a wage cut. Unions are to prevent abuse but they bring abuse. Also, if these public service jobs are so dangerous-quit. There will be 50 people in line for each job. Oak Lawn is corrupt. Please listen Mayor-elect Bury.
Very Concerned June 13, 2013 at 11:36 AM
As said before, municipal salaries are not hidden entities, and easily available to anyone interested. Citizens get what they pay for in those towns where they choose to live. The quality of services, schools, police, fire, public works, can be attributed to the quality of life they are willing to pay for. Nobody is getting ripped off in Oak Lawn. If the cost of living is too high other towns are available, but I see no mass exodus. People moved to and stay in Oak Lawn because of its schools and services and that quality is maintained because we choose to pay for them. People make the community and most have no problems with their quality of life in Oak Lawn. I know many who wish they could live here.
john Crivellone June 14, 2013 at 12:24 PM
I think that firefighters, police and civic servants should make a good living, but not that good. Don't forgrt not only do they all get good pay but their benefit package is that of an elite exefcutive in prive industry.
Very Concerned June 14, 2013 at 03:43 PM
For the record, the salaries and benefits for almost all of the full-time employees in Oak Lawn were the results of contracts that were negotiated by employees' unions and the Village. The negotiating process began in 1971 with the police officers' first contract. The Village representatives have included every manager from J.J. Salovarra through Larry Deetjen along with their labor attorneys. Their roles at the bargaining table have been to present the Village position as to what was most affordable for the citizens and fair for the employees . All contacts over the past 40 years were approved by every Village Board in that time. As representatives of the people these Boards have taken into consideration the needs of the community and the quality of life values they supported. For those who feel the employees in Oak Lawn are over-compensated, direct your complaints to those Boards who represented the needs of the community and agreed to all of those employee contracts. I know the agreements were made in good faith by all involved and they have enabled Oak Lawn to maintain its status as a class act in the south suburbs.
Very Concerned June 15, 2013 at 11:11 PM
For the record, the pay and benefits for almost all of Oak Lawn's full time employees are the results of contract negotiations between the Village and employee unions. The police gained the first contract in 1971. Over the past 40 years the Village Managers and attorneys or others represented the management side which included efforts to determine what was affordable for the citizenry and fair to the employees. When agreement was reached at the bargaining table both sides presented the contract to the Village Boards and union members for ratification. Whatever the political affiliations, those Boards established the standards of employment that best serve the citizens and impact the quality of life in the Village. They are the ones that have made Oak Lawn a prize for anyone seeking a job opportunity.
Oak Lawn Homegirl June 18, 2013 at 09:04 PM
These comments are all to ridiculous for words. First of all, just because it's public information doesn't necessarily mean it needs to be broadcast in this manner. It means that the information is available for those who feel they need to know. Just because they're public employees and paid by our tax dollars doesn't mean we have a right to decide whether it's too high. Walk a mile in their shoes and you'll know. If most of the readers had similar access within their own employers' records they would probably be just as shocked at the varied salaries. What's the old saying about having an opinion? Everyone has one.....
Lupe' DeAguirre November 26, 2013 at 09:55 AM
Two things I think are important to point out. Income for public service employees is open information, and taxpayers have a right to see what those amounts are. It will anger some people, and that is understandable. But these incomes are mostly including overtime. Not base salary. If you are this unhappy about the costs for services in the village, contact your trustee and tell THEM. Secondly, if you really think that cut backs to police and fire/EMS is the route to take, then go to a village board meeting and speak up. I've seen enough ridiculous comments by a few posters demanding the pd/fd become contracted private companies (makes no sense to me) or that we get rid of these "firefighters standing around" and cops who just sit in their cars. Well put your money where your mouth is! Show up and let the village know. I for one have no problem with the emergency services that the village provides and think it would be a huge mistake to cut any manpower in either dept. like I have posted before, I have no personal connections to either the pd or fd, but I have used both their services, as have my neighbors. In EVERY instance the men and women were very professional, courteous, and definitely knew what they were doing. This village has excellent emergency depts, well worth the money.
Honestly IPO November 26, 2013 at 03:13 PM
@ Juan ask your neighbor.


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