Baldwin Park firing squad
Car Parker

Covina, CA

#1 Dec 10, 2013
Baldwin Park council axes top officials in special meeting

By Jason Henry, San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Posted: 12/10/13, 9:15 PM PST |

BALDWIN PARK >> The city’s new majority power on the council instituted a firing squad Tuesday night that ended with Baldwin Park’s chief executive officer, city attorney and police chief out of a job.

“Have a seat,” a man could be heard saying as each entered the closed session meeting.

The council, which recently obtained a new majority upon the reelection of Susan Rubio and election of Cruz Baca, fired CEO Vijay Singhal, City Attorney Joseph Pannone and Chief Lili Hadsell.

Police Captain Mike Taylor will take over as interim police chief and as executive team manager, essentially the role Singhal filled. Rubio quickly corrected Mayor Manuel Lozano when he referred to Taylor as the interim chief executive officer. Robert Tafoya, of the firm Tafoya & Garcia, received the appointment to city attorney.

A police officer escorted Singhal from the building following Taylor’s appointment.

Each decision came to a 3-2 vote, with Rubio, Baca and Richardo Pacheco approving of the firings and appointments. Lozano and Monica Garcia dissented.

“The people have spoken and the overwhelming feeling was that they needed change,” Rubio said.

Rubio said Taylor’s years of experience on the force will allow him to build a stronger police department.

“If we’re going to have a police department that is effective, we need a team that is united,” she said.

The Baldwin Park Police Association recently cast a vote of no confidence against Hadsell and Singhal. The association strongly supported Baca and Rubio during their campaigns.

Baca and Rubio ran on a platform that opposed a proposal to switch from a city-run police force to a contract with the sheriff’s department for law enforcement.

Lozano and Garcia decried the firings, with Lozano noting that Singhal helped raise the city’s reserves from $250,000 to $7 million, despite the recession. He said Singhal did so while being one of the lowest paid city leaders in the San Gabriel Valley.

“This came unexpectedly, but it is what it is, unfortunately,” Lozano said.

Both Garcia and Lozano said crime has dropped since Hadsell took office.

Garcia said both Taylor and Tafoya lack experience in city governance.

All of the fired officials were fired without cause, meaning the city will need to pay any severance negotiated in their contracts.

West Covina, CA

#2 Dec 10, 2013
Without Cause??? Oh, there is plenty of cause!! Evrn with them being gone they are continuing to cost the city money! Just watch. Besides, we save in the long run with these clowns gone.
Car Parker

Covina, CA

#3 Dec 10, 2013
Now comes the audit. and hopefully the criminal indictments.

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