Steve Gesell’s $120,000 severance
May 21, 2015
San Luis Obispo City officials agreed Thursday to pay police Chief Steve Gesell a $120,000 severance to end his employment with the city as of May 29.
City manager Katie Lichtig placed Gesell on paid administrative leave on May 8 while she and city attorney Christine Dietrick negotiated a settlement with Gesell. Lichtig said she and Gesell had fundamental differences about the appropriate roles and responsibilities of a police chief in a press release.
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.
As part of the settlement agreement, Gesell and city officials agree not to disparage the other.
San Luis Obispo police Capt. Chris Staley will remain as acting chief while the city begins the process of recruiting a new police chief.