The city of Joliet’s top technology official was fired this week.
David Branner, director of information technology, was fired on Wednesday, though it is unclear why.
City Manager James Caparelli did not return calls seeking comment on why he fired Branner.
Branner had been contacted but said, “I have no comment on the situation.”
Brauner has been with the city since July 2016 and has been praised by City Council members for his leadership in moving the city forward and often keeping up with technology. Among the projects he leads is the implementation of a body camera program for the Joliet Police Department.
“Every time I’ve met him, he’s always been a creative, hard-working guy,” Councilwoman Sherri Reardon said Friday. I am sorry to lose him.
Reardon chairs the House Communications, Technology and Information Systems Committee, which met with Branner on Wednesday morning’s call. The next time she saw her, Reardon Brenner was leaving City Hall.
“Any time I’ve worked with David, I’ve had nothing but professionalism — great guy, great job,” Reardon said.
Reardon said she discussed Brenner’s firing with Caparelli but could not comment on what he said.
Primarily dealing with the inner workings of technology in city government services, Brauner was not as high-profile as other department heads, such as police and fire officials, whose work puts them in the public eye.
But as the head of the department, he was one of the most senior officials in City Hall.
“Now he’s fired. Who should we put in his place? Councilman Pat Mudron said.
Mudron said he was trying to set up a meeting with Capparelli to find out why Brauner was let go.
“My take on this case is that if I let someone go, it would have to be for gross misconduct, which nobody did,” Mudron said.
Brauner is the second department head to be fired by Capparelli, though the first was a botched one. Caparelli fired former police chief Dawn Malek in October and learned later that day that state law only allowed him to demote the police chief to her previous rank, but not fire her.
Although Malek retired earlier this month, he returned to the police department as a lieutenant.
Caparelli made Malek’s first day as police chief after she was hired as city manager in January 2021. She replaces Al Royner, who retired amid rumors that he might be fired by Caparelli.