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Chief's Resignation Letter Gets the Last Word

San Jose Mercury News via YellowBrix

June 21, 2011

COSTA MESA, Calif.—Costa Mesa’s interim police chief resigned Monday over the city’s plan to reduce police staffing levels in an angry four-page memo in which he called the City Council’s plan “foolhardy.”

Steve Staveley accused the majority of the council of meddling with officers’ scheduling and creating a budget crisis to serve their own political goals.

In March, the council ordered pink slips for about half of city employees to cut pension costs. Staveley said he was asked to cut the number of police officers from 139 to 131.

“What they are doing is not fiscal conservatism, it is destruction of an institution,” Staveley said. “It takes five years and millions of dollars to train that many police officers. That’s not fiscally responsible. It’s just stupid.”


He said council members have lied about budget gaps to create the appearance of a fiscal crisis “in order to appear as the white knight to a narrow band of political followers.”

“I think the letter is probably the most unprofessional thing I’ve seen in 30 years of business,” City Councilman Jim Righeimer said. “His reaction to the council asking for a 3 1/2 percent budget cut and a request that non-sworn staff work five days a week, 8-hour days, his reaction to that is bizarre.”

n a statement, Costa Mesa Chief Executive Officer Tom Hatch said he is “shocked and saddened by the unprofessional letter.” He said he has hired former La Habra Police Chief Dennis Kies as interim chief and expects to hire a permanent chief within the next couple of weeks.

City Councilwoman Wendy Leece said she hopes the resignation will give her colleagues pause.

“The majority is trying to accomplish pension reform in a broad manner, rather than take it one step at a time as other cities are doing. These cuts aren’t necessary and it’s causing a lot of division in our city,” she said. “We have to do it in a planned, measured, well-thought out way, and involve the residents.”


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  • Photo_user_blank_big

    4TheTroops

    almost 3 years ago

    18 Comments

    If only all Chiefs were as honorable.. I would love to work for that Chief.

  • Picture_100_max50

    crowfeeder

    almost 3 years ago

    928 Comments

    Interesting letter. Can't wait to see how this plays out.

  • 020_max50

    mericlejr

    almost 3 years ago

    228 Comments

    Politics =Stupidity. PROVEN AGAIN.There loss,good chief making a stand.

  • Me__mr

    cgingo

    almost 3 years ago

    21852 Comments

    That's the way to do it Chief. Congratulations on stnding up to them.

  • Aaron3_max50

    APS603

    almost 3 years ago

    8 Comments

    Great Job Chief..if you continue L/E anywhere else as a chief let me know!

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    almost 3 years ago

    One can only hope that this will change things. When will city councils learn that the last thing you wanna do is lay off police officers?!

  • Img_1050_max50

    Irishcop1961

    almost 3 years ago

    46104 Comments

    Bump BeachAngel.

  • Cops4christ_max50

    SpencerStangz

    almost 3 years ago

    420 Comments

    This Chief stood up for what he believed in. Maybe his sacrifice will lead to some change. Pray for our leaders folks. They need guidance and understanding as do we all.

  • Herosonpatrol_max50

    BeachAngel

    almost 3 years ago

    5656 Comments

    Thank you for your service Chief. Best wishes to you & your family.

  • Jack_bauer_max50

    Allen705

    almost 3 years ago

    1466 Comments

    I think actions speak louder than words, boot out the interim guy, and replace him with an outside interim guy...nobody in that department is capable of rising up to that level...for even a few weeks?? I think you should take a IQ test to run for any elected office, even unpaid city council members who make horrible decisions.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    Anonymous

    almost 3 years ago

    The saying goes, "The Truth Can't Hurt.". The Chief did it in four typed pages.

  • Az_phx_motorcade1a_max50

    Bury

    almost 3 years ago

    1340 Comments

    I love straight forward communications, no BS or PC!

  • Pug_max600_max50

    DALLASCRANE

    almost 3 years ago

    19386 Comments

    Best to ya Chief............

  • Imagesca4xarl3gatekeeper911_max50

    RAMBO_911

    almost 3 years ago

    68990 Comments

    GOD Bless The Chief! Stand Firm Brother.

  • Mardi_gras_cat_max50

    DonnaLynn

    almost 3 years ago

    10490 Comments

    Politicians are to busy with their own agendas and making sure their pockets stay full to worry about safety issues much less anything else to do with the people who voted them in office. Why should they? There are no repercussions for these people.

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