Chico just dodged a bullet!

28 May

In the last 48 or so hours, before I could even blog it, a top candidate for Chico police chief has been outed as an ass in his hometown and taken his name out of the running here in Chico.

The whole thing reminds me of Brian Nakamura. This  Steve Gesell guy from San Luis Obispo apparently lied to his bosses and staff, like Nakamura, telling them he wasn’t considering employment elsewhere, when he most certainly had put  in an application for chief of Chico PD. Furthermore, it now looks like he was trying to get out of SLO before a full investigation of personal use of his city expense account.

Cal Coast News has been on this guy’s ass for a while now. Gesell has been taking his family on city business trips and using his city expense account to pay for weekends in Disneyland and other family vacations. CCN also got ahold of inner department memos indicating Chief Gesell had been running a traffic ticket quota system, offering such rewards as pizza for the cop who brought in the most speeding tickets. While this might sound like an aggressive safety policy, it’s also known as a “speed trap” and it’s illegal.

So, when Gesell came under all this criticism, he started looking for another job, submitting an application here in Chico sometime between January and February, according to Chico city staff. Meanwhile he assured the city council back in SLO that he had no such intentions. 

We’ve been through this before with Brian Nakamura, who left Hemet for Chico after telling his bosses the same bullshit story. And then he packed up his carpet bag and  left Chico spinning like a revolving door, his Hemet buddy Mark Orme walking into the position and his other buddy Chris Constantin moving right into the Ass Mangler position. Chico was just their ticket to a higher salary, a step up on the pension ladder. Who knows how long they’ll stay. 

In San Luis Obispo, it looks like Gesell really played himself a hand. He made it look like the city was trying to fire him, and he got a lawyer and fought it until they handed him a $120,000 severance package. He had intended to leave the entire time. Scott Gruendl just played the same hand in Orland, when it looked like the county supervisors had caught on to his years of substance abuse and were about ready to fire him. Gruendl turned it into retirement! At 70 percent of his $103,000 (old figure) salary, for the rest of his life. Plus benefits for further trips to rehab! 

So, as I was reading all this last night, I was thinking, “oh my good geeshy sakes, Sorensen and the rest of those jackasses are going to hire this guy, just like a slightly different group of jackasses hired Nakamura!” Times like this I just want to pack up and call the realtor, get the hell out of Dodge City before the trash truck rolls in to clean up the mess. I start talking SELL! My husband, the Bitch  Whisperer, always reminds me, “we been through this before, we’ve seen ’em come, and we’ve seen ’em go, and we’re still here.” Sure, paying higher taxes on everything,  but we’re still  here.  

At least Melissa Daugherty was on top of this:

Daugherty also points out, he’s almost 50, which points to a pattern – they come here to spike and retire, it’s been one chief after another lately. 

Well, it didn’t happen. Here’s the latest story on Steve Gesell:


What kind of person picks up his family and moves to Arizona to run against a local sheriff?  Please note, before this all went public, this jackass was “the top candidate” for Chico police chief. 

UPDATE  I find it interesting that the link to Action News has been disconnected, but a subsequent story naming Mike O’Brien with no mention of Gesell is still up for viewing. Call me a conspiracy freak, but I think the city is trying to pretend they never had anything to do with Gesell, and certain local media outlets are playing along. You can read more at

5 Responses to “Chico just dodged a bullet!”

  1. bob May 28, 2015 at 3:34 pm #

    Sounds like the perfect candidate for Chico. If the truth didn’t out I’m sure our illustrious politicians would have welcomed him with open arms.

    • Juanita Sumner May 29, 2015 at 4:35 am #

      I totally agree Bob – somebody, and they aren’t saying who, actually went to SLO to interview the guy. In past that’s been the last step in hiring.

      I hope Mike O’Brien isn’t just spiking his salary to retire in a couple of years, he seems like the right person for the job. He’s been around a while, he’s more comfortable with the public. Trostle was like a chained dog, acted as though he was disgusted with the public. Maloney seemed to be at war with the public, he acted like the police chief of Saigon during the fall. We’ve had a long line of poor chiefs, it’s time for something different.

  2. Jim May 28, 2015 at 6:04 pm #

    You are spot on here. Thanks Juanita.

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