Eric Ghisletta, the popular 25-year veteran of the Martinez police department and its acting chief since February of last year, resigned from the force Tuesday morning – six days after the City Council gave hiring and firing power for the chief’s position to its new city manager.
The vacuum of silence around City Hall and Martinez PD settled in after news of the resignation began to spread, broken only by the – so far – muted protestations of some members of the City Council and the public. More effusive statements of opposition are expected at city council meeting scheduled for 6 p.m.
Ghisletta, who isn’t talking – so far – about his decision to leave, informed City Manager Rob Braulik Tuesday that his resignation would be effective June 25.
“Eric Ghisletta resigned today much to the anguish of citizens, fellow Officers and more,” one obviously chagrined resident wrote NEWS24-680. “We are turning out tonight to fight City Council on this move. Any chance of you covering this?”
NEWS24-680 has been hearing some grumbling among officers and citizens in recent days, mostly after the council voted 3-2 to give Braulik – who started his job in Martinez in April – the final say in hiring and firing a chief.
Braulik said the council’s decision does not effect come into play in selecting a new chief, but council members who opposed the decision questioned its timing and said it came as “a surprise.”
Ghisletta was among seven finalists in line for the chief’s job and his selection was expected by many.
Councilwoman Lara DeLaney, one of the two dissenting votes cast during last week’s decision, said the move to hire someone other than Ghisletta was “unfathomable” to her.
How much of this is about giving hiring powers to the new city manager and how much is getting passed over with an outside hire? I understand that both are negatives, but spending your career with one agency, leading it and pretty well by the sound of it only to be passed over by someone from outside wouldn’t sit well with me either.
Standard move by a corporate or civic body to prevent someone from coming in who may not bend to their will. There are several unflattering names for it.