Atascadero police chief steps down suddenly

January 8, 2011

Jim Mulhall

Atascadero police Chief Jim Mulhall resigned Friday claiming he was stepping down in order to spend more time with his family, according to a city press release.

However, several sources told CalCoastNews earlier in the week that Muhall had been asked to resign or face termination. Numerous calls to his office before his official resignation were sent to a disconnected phone line or not returned.

Councilperson Roberta Fonzi said she was not able to discuss the issue because of personnel privacy laws.

On Jan. 4, the council met in a special closed session called to discuss anticipated exposure to significant litigation. It is not known if the special meeting is connected to Mulhall’s sudden resignation.

Mulhall, 58, began his career with the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department in 1981, retiring from there with the rank of commander in 2005. In early 2007, he joined the Atascadero Police Department as a Lieutenant and was promoted to the chief’s position in December 2007.

Mulhall resignation one year before he would have met the five years required in order to be vested in a second government retirement.

While working with the Atascadero Police Department, Mulhall held down a number of side jobs including working as a pyrotechnics expert and a gun dealer.

City Manager Wade McKinney announced that Stephen Gesell of the Atascadero Police Department will serve as the acting Chief of Police while a search is conducted for Mulhall’s replacement.


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42 Comments

  1. danika says:

    Doubtful he has cancer. The Trib reported today he will get $126k and NOT sue the city of Atascadero if they agree to not fire him “without cause”. C’mon CCN, what’s the real story here???

    http://www.sanluisobispo.com/2011/01/19/1449479/former-atascadero-police-chief.html

    (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
    • Cindy says:

      What ever is really going on, it looks like Mulhall just got paid to keep his mouth shut. He told us all just enough to say naner naner to Wade and the Atascadero CC. I’m certain they aren’t pleased about this latest disclosure but they will all hide behind closed doors claiming that they can’t legally discuss it. I’m so sick of this BS. If they paid him after he resigned then they have something to hide that they don’t want laundered in the public arena, otherwise they have no business giving him 126K OF OUR MONEY.
      They are all worthless.

      (0) 2 Total Votes - 1 up - 1 down
  2. sloslo says:

    After reading this story:
    http://calcoastnews.com/2009/09/overheard-police-chief-tells-one-side-of-gun-snafu/

    it was clear to me that Mulhall was dirty, just like the rest of the good old boys network. It is appalling that Mulhall, Solomon, and Shea were all colluding to invent the best story to get those pesky bloggers to go away and stop exposing their own corruption. Personally, I think Shea is the biggest problem since he has considerable unchecked power and discretion to prosecute or avoid prosecuting whomever he wants. A story about him stepping down would make me much happier.

    (16) 32 Total Votes - 24 up - 8 down
    • Cindy says:

      I would love to see Shae replaced but nobody runs against him. What are we going to do? Why doesn’t anybody else want to be the DA? If I didn’t know better, I would think that the thugs grab anybody who requests the paperwork to run for that office and then gives them an ultimatum. Of course I know that isn’t the reason but something has to give, what does it take for someone to run against him? I’m not aware that he is popular at all, am I wrong about that?

      (8) 12 Total Votes - 10 up - 2 down
  3. TacomaRose says:

    Highly unlikely SLOJO. If that were case he could file work comp and I am sure that the employees would help carry him on books for as long as possible in order to help the family.

    (1) 7 Total Votes - 4 up - 3 down
    • slojo says:

      It probably is unlikely but I thought I’d throw it out there!

      (-2) 4 Total Votes - 1 up - 3 down
  4. slojo says:

    What if he just found out he has cancer and only has 2 months to live? Ohhhhh…..you’d all feel bad then!

    (-3) 9 Total Votes - 3 up - 6 down
    • danika says:

      And your point is….? Does he have cancer and only 2 months to live?

      (-1) 11 Total Votes - 5 up - 6 down
      • Cindy says:

        LOL !!

        (-5) 7 Total Votes - 1 up - 6 down
      • slojo says:

        My point IS Danika, you don’t know why he is leaving. I don’t either!!!!

        (1) 9 Total Votes - 5 up - 4 down
        • danika says:

          Maybe I do….maybe I don’t…ahem. : x

          (-4) 4 Total Votes - 0 up - 4 down
    • SanSimeonSam says:

      Well no i wouldn’t It would mean there is one less welfare bum on the state dole. Of course since he was only one year from his second retirement we should give him full retirement the poor guy. I mean he has a nice smile and i am sure he needs 200K a year to live on….Lets get Jan Marx involved. She is just off of her campaign for the fire chief.

      (0) 12 Total Votes - 6 up - 6 down
  5. RU4Real says:

    Call me suspicious, crazy or whatever, but somehow I feel good old boy Wade is somehow involved in the “sudden retirement”…

    (17) 17 Total Votes - 17 up - 0 down
  6. Citizen says:

    Sorry, these car and house robberies occurred in Paso Robles, as did the theft of Chief Lisa’s gun.

    (-3) 7 Total Votes - 2 up - 5 down
    • PasoParent says:

      Yes, Chief Lisa lives in Paso. Her loaded gun (first mistake!) was in her unlocked car (second mistake!) , parked in front of her home. The theft did happen in Paso but wasn’t her stolen gun (along with others) actually recovered in Atascadero?

      (5) 9 Total Votes - 7 up - 2 down
      • Citizen says:

        Yes. The Atascadero police made a stop of a suspicious car, and found her gun. Her name was on the holster.

        (2) 4 Total Votes - 3 up - 1 down
  7. Citizen says:

    While Chief Lisa (Paso) was on the radio telling everyone to lock their cars and houses, the Atascadero Police apprehended two sets of culprits for a series of house and car robberies last year. They also found the thieves that stole Chief Lisa’s loaded, unregistered gun from her unlocked car.

    I guess its okay to have an incompetent police chief, but not one who made a wrong personnel decision.

    (14) 20 Total Votes - 17 up - 3 down

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