Santa Maria police union votes no confidence in chief
February 27, 2012
Amid the investigation into two officer involved shootings, the Santa Maria Police Officers Association announced Friday it has no confidence in Police Chief Danny Macagni. [LompocRecord]
The union sent out ballots to its 119 members and 93 ballots were returned. Of those, 85 percent returned votes of no confidence in the chief.
In late January, an officer shot and killed fellow officer Albert Covarrubias, Jr. while both were working at a DUI checkpoint. Police had discovered Covarrubias knew he was going to be arrested for sexual misconduct with a teenager and intimidation of a witness, police said.
In December, two officers were wounded and a 24-year-old suspect was killed. Samyr Ceballos, a known gang member, never fired back at officers.
Association President Chris Nartatez told the Lompoc Record the chief has been the recipient of a number of complaints, grievances and lawsuits filed against him over the years.
The vote of no confidence is non-binding and used to primarily to show a lack of confidence in a law enforcement leader.
“There has been people out there and the city administration in the past, the City Council and mayor telling us there’s only a few disgruntled employees who are making the waves,” Nartatez said to the Lompoc Record. ‘I think this shows that it’s not just a few of us, it’s 85 percent of the POA membership that aren’t happy.”