CHAMPAIGN — City Manager Dorothy David said this week that she does not know how long an extended leave of absence for City Engineer Roland White will last, but for now, an assistant city engineer has assumed his duties.
White was sentenced in April to serve 90 days home detention after pleading guilty to driving under the influence of alcohol in November 2012. David would not say whether his leave from the city is related to his DUI conviction — only that his absence is "not technically" related to the arrest.
"He's just on leave," David said, declining to comment much further on the circumstances around White's absence.
White has been on leave from his duties as the city engineer since his conviction, and David said officials are "not right now" sure how long that will last.
"Right now, he's just an employee who's on a leave of absence," David said.
White has been using paid leave he previously accumulated — that could include leave balances like vacation and comp time — and therefore has continued to receive paychecks during the time he has been gone.
In the meantime, Assistant City Engineer Dave Clark has taken on the role of acting city engineer.
White has been employed by the city of Champaign since 1998. As one of the highest-paid city employees, White made $124,284 in salary and benefits between July 1, 2012, and June 30 of this year.
According to Champaign County sheriff's deputies' reports, White hit the rear end of a car that was facing west on Church Street at U.S. 45 in Savoy. He then backed up, turned around and headed east.
It was shortly after that the owner of a parked car on Preston Street reported that her car had been hit head-on by a person who sat inside his car for a few moments then got out and started walking away.
Authorities said White refused to perform field sobriety tests or submit to a breath test. Court documents said he admitted he had consumed two bottles of wine.
After he pleaded guilty, White was also ordered to pay a $2,000 fine, wear an alcohol monitoring bracelet, perform 75 hours of public service and attend a victim impact panel.