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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Requirements for Gesell’s replacement:

1. Able to get along with Katie Lichtig (wink, wink.)

2. Female (the Ashbaugh/Marx requirement.)

3. Recruited from: West Hollywood, San Francisco, Santa Monica, Santa Cruz, Carmel or the like.

4. Will not be required to reside in SLO County.

5. Ability to carpool with Katie a huge plus.

6. 40% (at least) higher salary requirement than predecessor.

7. Able to negotiate ridiculously generous employment contract.

8. Must have checkered employment history ala Lichtig.

9. Lifetime staffer. Absolutely no operating experience.

10. Eager to implement “LAPD/Willie Williams” coat to SLOPD uniform to hide her big gut and derriere.

SLO probably cannot find anyone that will meet all 10 criteria, but there is one

potential candidate that would come close –

Ms. Lisa Solomon (aka Chitty- Chitty Bang Bang)

1. She has excellent police qualifications (just ask any Paso Robles City Councilman).

2. Knows the area quite well.

3. Currently out of work (but likely has ran through the $150K payoff from Paso – so may

looking for a job)

4. Knows the ins and outs of negotiating an overly generous salary and benefits.

5. Is extremely qualified on getting the ‘best’ from her employees (???)

Her main problem is that she would have a hard time getting along with Lichtig (but so

would most other sane people).

And yes, the above is a small effort at humor; but to get more serious:

As was the case in Paso Robles; SLO will liberally spend thousands of taxpayers

dollars getting some ‘search’ organization to do a nationwide search for a replacement,

may even bring several in for interviews, etc, etc, ; but the final end result is that

next Police Chief of SLO is currently on the payroll – Chris Staley will be it.

Anyone want to place a small wager?

You are so fixated on the Solomon issue and look for excuses to bring her name up again and again. Let it go already.

Cops Beat Their Wives & Girlfriends At Double The National Rate, Still Receive Promotions

“…if he is terminated for reasons other than misconduct, malfeasance or criminal negligence, he is due a severance”

…so, stealing the public’s money, violating quota and profiling laws, as well as betraying the public trust are all something OTHER than misconduct, malfeasance or criminal neglect? If all of this is OK and above-the-board, then why is he being terminated? What is the “other” that is worth 120,000 tax-payer-confiscated dollars?

Find some honest, decent candidates to run for council.

There’s plenty of fuel in SLO for good challengers to light a fire, and shed some light on what’s going on up there.

I hate to say it but the reality is that it is sometimes cheaper to pay off someone like that than to fight for true justice in a legal battle. The folks that make those decisions don’t take into consideration the possibility that giving in only encourages other crooks in office to follow the same path.

Another possible reason is that Mr. Gesell may well have had information about misbehavior on the part of more than one politician or bureaucrat that could become public in a legal fight.

Here we are again breaking a fundamental principle of good leadership by reinforcing failure. Why are we willing to continue to reward bad behavior over and over again. These are OUR dollars!

What are the corrupt judges of SLO County getting underneath the table in return for their loyality in covering up for the corrupt public officials of SLO County?

There may be corrupt judges in SLO (I don’t know) but prosecution isn’t in their job description. They might make rulings that hurt prosecution or give out too-light sentences at most.

The public sector slogan should be ” Break the law, get a huge payout”.

So SLO taxpayers, you still like where your new tax money is going?

So the Chief will get a severance package – no surprise. This now sets the standard for when people get wise and dismiss Katie, Christina and Monica. Maybe, just maybe he should pay the City back for all the misappropriation.

Ticket quotas have been status quo / SOP at the city for over a decade. SLO PD used to operate a program that our darling sheriff championed called poundage. Poundage was a ticket program based upon quotas wherein officers were rewarded for writing “fat”, yes fat people tickets. For example, if I wrote a ticket for a person doing 35 in a 25 and they weighed in at 300 lbs, I got 10 (mph over the speed limit) times the 300 (weight of perp), thus 3000 points. Now if another officer wrote the same ticket (35 in a 25) to a person that only weighed 100 pounds, they got 1000 points. The gist of the program was to selectively enforce laws on “fat people” – i.e. discrimination. Every month the winner got free dinner and movie tickets. Fat people in San Luis Obispo were selectively being sought out. Talk about a civil rights and ADA violation.

Officers who refused to participate were written up, passed over for promotions and often didn’t receive raises.

However, the real concern is that so many officers and supervisors in PD that voluntarily participated in these illegal programs under color of authority have been promoted over and over again. These programs were implemented during the reign of a former City Manager and continue today.

Do you have a source for the “Poundage program” information? I have a lot of reservations about Parkinson and know that he has some skeletons in his closet but I hadn’t heard about this one. (Also, since weight alone doesn’t make people fat, I would call this discrimination against Big People if it occurred.)

Government can’t even fire someone without screwing it up. Next comes the $500k nationwide search for a new police chief and cash and prizes in the next contract that are twice as lucrative as this one. And for what, to catalog the names of bums sleeping in Mitchell park on a Thursday afternoon.

Please remember how they waste money the next time you vote for a ballot measure to raise your own taxes.

Someone once said – “You pay a whore, not for the service performed, but to leave.”

An excellent Charlie Sheen pull-quote! Very apropos.