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Jury upholds DuPage County's 2012 firing of Animal Care and Control director

Published: Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014 7:23 p.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, Aug. 25, 2014 6:48 a.m. CDT

A federal jury has reached a verdict in favor of DuPage County in a case involving the firing of its former director of Animal Care and Control, according to a county news release.

Originally hired in July 2005, Kerry Vinkler filed suit claiming her Oct. 19, 2012 termination was because of time she took off under the Family Medical Leave Act from Oct. 4 to 16 of that year.

Authorities in the county's Human Resources Department were made aware around that time of allegations towards Vinkler, including that she left work for extended periods and falsified her time sheets, the release stated. After an investigation, she was terminated.

The jury reached its verdict after about 30 minutes of deliberation following a three-day trial.

"The residents of DuPage County deserve and expect county employees to show up for work every day and do their jobs," said DuPage County State's Attorney Robert Berlin in the release. "The evidence in this case overwhelmingly showed that DuPage County was well within its rights to terminate Ms. Vinkler. Simply put, Kerry Vinkler was hired to do a job and when it was discovered that she was not performing, she was let go."

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