Gesell lawyers up for employment dispute with SLO

May 13, 2015
Steve Gesell

Steve Gesell

San Luis Obispo Police Chief Steve Gesell, who is currently on paid administrative leave, has retained a Pismo Beach lawyer who is arguing the city has no good cause to terminate Gesell’s contract.

On Friday, City Manager Katie Lichtig placed Gesell on paid administrative leave after she was unable to agree on a separation settlement with the police chief. Lichtig and City Attorney Christine Dietrick are now negotiating a settlement with Gesell, after receiving instruction to do so during a closed session San Luis Obispo City Council meeting Tuesday.

Gesell’s attorney, David P. Warren, delivered a letter to Dietrick during the public comment period of Tuesday’s meeting. The letter, which is dated May 1, states that there is no go cause for the city to sever its relationship with Gesell, and the police chief does not want to leave his position.

“We are very concerned that the council is being led to believe that there is a mutual agreement to end the relationship. This is simply not the case,” Warren’s letter states. “I was told that it had gone beyond working it out and that Ms. Lichtig intended to sever the relationship.”

City sources have told CalCoastNews that Gesell is being released from employment because of irreconcilable differences with Lichtig. Gesell has been under fire publicly for charging the city for family dining, as well as for allegedly having illegal ticket quotas.

If an agreement is not reached, sources say Gesell could disclose damaging information about the city, some of which could implicate Lichtig.

If the city terminates Gesell for reasons other than misconduct, malfeasance or criminal negligence, he is due a severance of at least six months of his salary and benefits, which equals $132,532. Warren notes that financial obligation in his letter to Dietrick.

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Just GO AWAY CHIEF , You have worn out your welcome in this town , go somewhere else and screw up some other city, and take the city management with you.


Yes, and take your ridiculous Israeli gestapo training gear with you. That trip to Israel was such a farce, you should have been fired for that alone.

fishing village

Gives new meaning to ‘you can’t fireum’ doesn’t it!!


It’s called ‘failing upward’.

Gesell was employed as PC for less than three years and now ( wants to ) get a 1/8 million $$$ golden parachute to go away.

I’ll take much less than that to stay away. Some here may want to contribute.


Perhaps the SLO City Council would take notice of this petition to review Ms. Lichtig’s performance if enough people signed it?

Please help distribute this. Thanks.


P.S. You can choose not to have your name displayed on the petition if you fear reprisal.


I have an idea! Let’s send Lichtig and her salary back to 90210.


Not so happy in Happytown. No smell law, no stand on roof law. No accountability No problem. Gesell, Lichtig, Dietrick and the rest of the jackals all need to go.


You forgot Mayor Jamie Irons and his wife Monica.


Notice Mr. Gesell shed his uniform! It would seem to me that fleecing the City over his travel expenses multi times, establishing quotas for tickets which are illegal, and mismanaging St Patty Day incident indicates illegal ac0tivities and incompetent management.

Since Ms Licktig has hired and supported these wrongdoings and mismanagement for the past several months, this also demonstrates her incompetence. Steve Gesell was the SLO Police Chief, one of a dozen employees Licktig personally manages and therefore she also failed her job on multiply occasions and should be fired.

Get rid of them both!


No uniform, he’s now wearing his law suit.


Katie Lichtig is the one who needs to be fired. Steve Gesell was her employee. How did she let him get off track? She has to assume some responsibility. Didn’t she approve all of his trips? And I wouldn’t be surprised if she also read his opinion piece for the Tribune before he submitted it.


Cheating on his expense account, illegal ticket quota and now a threat of blackmail? This guy’s a real winner… or should I say weiner?