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City of Peoria offering cop Jeremy Layman more than $90k to resign rather than return to force

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The city of Peoria is offering more than $90,000 to encourage a Peoria police officer to resign.

Officer Jeremy Layman was fired in Feb. 2018 for violating departmental policy. The allegations included his wearing of a "Baby Daddy Removal Team" t-shirt, and derogatory social media comments about residents of Peoria's majority-Black South Side.

An arbitrator later ordered the city to reinstate Layman as a patrol officer. The Peoria County Circuit Court and 3rd District Appellate Court in Ottawa agreed, noting that while Layman's comments were inappropriate, they were not overtly racist. The court also found the city failed to establish Layman broke policy.

The city opted to offer Layman a $90,095.04 payout of his accrued time from Feb. 21, 2018 through Jan. 1, 2023 in exchange for his resignation from the police department.

Layman and representatives of the Peoria Police Benevolent Association signed the agreement on Dec. 22.

The original arbitration award also calls for Layman to receive $178,981.09 in back pay for the period from Feb. 21, 2018 through Dec. 22, 2019, with $17,737.03 subtracted for pension contributions, benefits, and taxes. The city will also make a $97,738.30 contribution to the police pension fund for the back pay period.

The agreement is pending city council approval on Jan. 10. If the council denies the agreement, Layman would come back onboard as an active police officer, pending re-certification and training.

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Tim is the News Director at WCBU Peoria Public Radio.