SLO management to negotiate settlement with Gesell
May 12, 2015
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.