Steve Gesell’s $120,000 severance

May 21, 2015
Chief Steve Gesell

Chief Steve Gesell

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.

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Golden parachute for a fascist.

Typical . Failing upward ! The Peter Principle in practice ! Rewarding incompetents !

not to different from former Atascadero chief mulhall 4 years ago, and chief …. before that. take note, this is standard operating procedure for this county. pay off six figure sums to people paid well to catch thieves and criminals, who get caught stealing money or worse… whats the problem?, he took from the same public funds used to pay everybody else in the city/county an extra thousand dollars apiece as well as whatever other bs bonuses and salary increases takes/took place. and we wonder why budget calculations are flawed by tens of millions? We need to elect QUALIFIED individuals who have integrity/accountability, and to not allow them there expected all you can eat with takehome buffet at the public trough.

Typical. First one caught is the first one thrown under the bus. Why the low payout? Was he smart enough to overcharge the city for the first time or was this an example of continuing corruption finally brought to life with a sacrafice?

The SLO City Council is failing SLO residents…

Just how many people are going to be hired/fired due to the hideous managerial style of SLO City Manager Katie Lichtig? Just how much are her antics going to cost local taxpayers?

Ashbaugh and Marx failed twice. They were on the council when the decision was made to hire Lichtig. Shame on you all.

I find this situation very curious and wonder who will be the next domino to fall. I am not privileged to any of the speifics of Chief Gesell’s situation but 2 + 2 are not equaling 4. I have a suspicion that Chief Gesell is the “fall guy” for something bigger and the truth is neatly wrapped in his severance package. It appears to me, Chief Gesell is well respected in our community and doing an exemplary job as SLO Police Chief. He did “fudge” some travel reimbursements and may have traveled too much but hello, there are many, many city, county and state governmental employees, especially upper management, who do the exact same thing on a weekly basis and it is ignored and/or accepted. Still trying to make sense out of a nonsensical situation.

My guess would be Gesell is not respected by those targeted by his illegal ticket quota, or by some of the taxpayers who had to pay for his family’s vacations in violation of policies.

Granny, he didn’t do an “exemplary” job.

He didn’t JUST “fudge” some money theft and ABUSE of taxpayer funds.

It doesn’t excuse an abuser just because you think “many many” others are doing it weekly. We should aim HIGHER and be TOUGHER when closing out handsome but flawed top cops, administrators, etc.

Cha Ching!

Boy did I get it wrong. I was taught if you did a great job, morally ethically, honestly you will be rewarded. Now we know if you lie, cheat and steal, that’s where the real money is! And, if you get fired…. bonus bucks! Lucky man! Now free to go fishing on Parkinsons Panga.

$120,000 in hush money.

The taxpayers get ripped off again.

Boy, I’m glad that’s over….now, let’s make sure we hire someone from as far away as possible so that we have to pay maximum salary/benefits/pension, moving expenses, several interview trips, family visits including parents/grandparents, brothers/sisters, etc.

And, the chief can legally live as far away as Goleta (kinda like the former chief who

resided in Lompoc).

It sounds silly, I agree, but it could happen again!!

I long for the old days when our leaders were brighter and more responsible…not that

long ago!!

From what little i’ve heard i’d kind of like to see capt. staley remain chief. Seems like an honest, forward-thinking family man with strong ties to the community. I’m interested as to whether or not anyone has heard differently?

I am not sure of anyone who is there already, especially if he has been promoted based on some stories here. The next Police Chief contract should state “… that if he/she runs or allows the running of any illegal activities such as ticket quotas, poundage games, or any other reward programs for the police department” said chief shall return all his prior paid salary and leave without any benefits or compensation.

How could we possibly hire someone that has learned all the bad tricks of successful?

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