Pacific Mayor Cy Sun is destroying the city we love. He may be sincere, but his actions after one short year in office have caused almost irreparable harm.
We must act
NOW if there is any hope to save Pacific. This page details why the recall is necessary, urgent and our only hope to restore sanity to our city.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Police Department Saga

Even for those close to the action, the chaos of Mayor Sun's dealings with the Pacific Police Department are mind-boggling. When Sgt. Bos said today that the recent attempted firings of almost half of the department have been draining, it was only the tip of the iceberg. Here is just a brief overview of the saga that has unfolded at the police department since Cy Sun took office:
  • Sun placed the Director of Public Safety, John Calkins, on administrative leave in January for losing his temper with the city clerk. Calkins was upset that the mayor had canceled the order for one of the new police vehicles without notifying him. The purchase had been approved and placed before Sun took office.
  • Sun formally fired Calkins in May. A Loudermill hearing was held shortly after the notice of termination, but it appears no progressive discipline was offered since Sun immediately enforced the termination. Calkins has appealed his firing to the Pacific civil service commission. The first pre-conference meeting in the appeal was held last Tuesday (meeting notes here). Mayor Sun was ordered to produce the necessary documentation (that had been required for Tuesday's meeting) by next Wednesday. Calkins' hearing before the civil service is scheduled for August 21st, 24th and 25th.
  • When Calkins was place on leave, as the next senior officer, Lt. Massey was designated as the acting chief.
  • At the April 23rd council meeting, the city council took a vote of "no confidence" in Mayor Sun for a variety of reasons (see letter here for more details). The majority of the police department's union members also presented a letter of "no confidence at that meeting. The only union member who did not sign was Sgt. Pickett, citing a variety of reasons based on his 20+ years experience observing local politics in Pacific (memo citing his reasons here).
  • Shortly before the April 23rd council meeting, after hearing that Lt. Massey had signed the letter of "no confidence", Mayor Sun relieved Massey as acting chief. He appointed the next senior officer, Sgt. Pickett, as acting chief.
  • On June 18th, Sgt. Pickett resigned as acting chief after expressing concern that he was "being drawn into a pit of unethical behavior". The mayor rejected Pickett's resignation, but the city attorney stated Sun had no authority to force Pickett to continue as acting chief.
  • On July 19th, Mayor Sun was arrested after trying to force his way into an active crime scene (more details here). He verbally fired the police officers as they arrested him and followed up with a formal termination notice to four of the department's nine officers (sample termination letter here).
  • The required Loudermill hearings for the four officers were held today amidst protesters calling for Sun's recall. Mayor Sun did not allow union representatives to speak at the hearings nor did he follow his own schedule for the hearings. Details on how the hearings unfolded are here...
  • After consulting with the city attorney and the union's legal staff, the four officers will continue to work. Several worried residents, concerned about the safety of Pacific's streets, have called the police department. The department issued this press release this afternoon. 
The police department saga is only one of many battles Mayor Sun has brought to Pacific. The former city clerk filed a $2.2 million claim against the city yesterday, the senior center is without a leader, the council letter notes serious concerns about losing major grants for road projects and the former clerk documented several violations of law. All this (and more) has led the city's insurance company to drop coverage effective December 31st unless the city quickly and decisively moves towards professional conduct. We ask again, how much is enough? Join us in this recall effort now.

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