Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.


Costa Mesa Mess: Police Chief Quits In Advance Of Controversial Layoffs

Photo by kenteegardin via Flickr
Before you
Dear reader, we're asking you to help us keep local news available for all. Your financial support keeps our stories free to read, instead of hidden behind paywalls. We believe when reliable local reporting is widely available, the entire community benefits. Thank you for investing in your neighborhood.

Costa Mesa City Council approved layoffs for 200 city workers, eight police officers and one animal control officer despite an independent audit that found approximately $23 million in the city's general fund for the upcoming year, according to CBS Local.

The controversial cuts were approved around 1:00 a.m. on Wednesday in a move Costa Mesa Police Department interim Chief Steve Staveley called “unethical and immoral.” Staveley resigned abruptly on Monday accusing council members of lying about a financial crisis In his resignation letter, according to NBC LA.

"It's very clear to me that there is no fiscal crisis in the city of Costa Mesa...The majority of the council has created budget gaps in order to affect to create the appearance of a fiscal crisis. They have pushed finance and the budget process around to get the kind of numbers that benefit their position. They have in essence lied as they create the appearance of a crisis in order to appear as the white knight to a narrow band of political followers."

Slaveley's criticism was called "probably one of the most unprofessional things I've seen in my 30 years in business," by City Councilman Jim Righeimer.

Support for LAist comes from
"We're asking the police department for 3.5 percent cuts, the least amount of any department," Righeimer said. "To come out with these inflammatory statements is completely unprofessional."

Slaveley, accusing city officials of "meddling" in police officer scheduling, also opposed a plan to make non-sworn personnel work conventional 8-hour days, 5 days per week instead of the 10-hour, 4 days per week they currently work.

Former La Habra Police Department Chief Dennis Kies was hired to replace Slaveley.