SLO management to negotiate settlement with Gesell

May 12, 2015
Chief Steve Gesell

Chief Steve Gesell

The San Luis Obispo City Council instructed the city manager and the city attorney to negotiate a settlement with Police Chief Steve Gesell at a closed session meeting on Tuesday.

On Tuesday’s agenda, it noted that the city was facing significant exposure to litigation arising over the separation of an employee. Though Gesell was not mentioned by name, reliable sources said the discussion was about his release from employment.

The city council voted to instruct Lichtig and City Attorney Christine Dietrick to negotiate a settlement with Gesell. According to Gesell’s employment agreement, if he is terminated 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.

Even though Gesell has been under fire for charging the city for family dining and allegedly having illegal ticket quotas, he is being released from employment because of irreconcilable differences with Lichtig, city sources said. City Manager Katie Lichtig placed Gesell on paid administrative leave on Friday after Gesell and she were unable to agree on a separation settlement, city sources said.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments





unacceptable or improper behavior, especially by an employee or professional person.

“she was found guilty of professional misconduct by a disciplinary tribunal”

synonyms: wrongdoing, unlawfulness, lawlessness, crime, felony, criminality, sin, sinfulness; More


a penalty assessed against a player for unsportsmanlike conduct.

plural noun: misconducts


mismanagement, especially culpable neglect of duties.


verb: misconduct; 3rd person present: misconducts; past tense: misconducted; past participle: misconducted; gerund or present participle: misconducting



behave in an improper or unprofessional manner.


mismanage (duties or a project).

I think one could argue that Gesell acted with clear misconduct. I think most would agree. I also think that Gesell will be paid 132k to get rid of him rather than fight him in court. That makes me so mad….

Notice how the taxpayers always get screwed for the incompetent mismanagement of government employees?

When are irresponsible government employees going to be accountable for their own moral failures?

When are the incompetent managers in local government going to be accountable for their own actions?

Local government needs to clean house and fire all of its incompetent, spineless-wuss, managers.

I am having definite troubles with my Spanish language comprehension. I was never very good. Here I thought San Luis Obispo meant “Saint Louis the Bishop of Tolosa” but it turns out it means “fleecing and mistreatment of the taxpayer by incompetent or questionable leaders”. Dios mio, rescaten nosotros! (Loosely, “rescue us”.)

In this county, we seem to elect and select some very challenged and disinterested persons who are empire or pension builders. This chief has more than enough malfeasance or recklessness or inadvertence with his travel expenses to justify dismissal without an 1/8-of-a-mil payout, not to mention the ticket quota thing (the quota happens to be set at ZERO if it’s thug disruptive vehicle noise modifications),

We have lives to lead and shouldn’t have to watch our leaders spiral the place into the tank (circling the drain some call it).

Perhaps they would get better performance from employees if they would eliminate

the severance pay clause they put in their contracts. Their base pay and benefits

are already bloated and way above the national and state averages.


Anyone else sick and tired of these HUGE payouts for mediocre public employees who cannot follow the rules?

Katie Lichtig needs to go first!

Don’t be surprised if the council fights tooth, and nail to hang onto her, just like the former council did in AG.

The city manager holds the keys to the skeleton closet.