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 Finalist for Paso Robles police chief withdraws candidacy, new search begins
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1 year ago

Finalist for Paso Robles police chief withdraws candidacy, new search begins

The finalist for the position of Paso Robles police chief has withdrawn his candidacy, the Office of the Mayor announced Thursday.

According to a press release, Manny Guaderrama cited personal and financial reasons, including his wife having to shut down her business. According to the city, those reasons are also related to compensation. Guaderrama is currently a captain with the San Diego Police Department.

Mayor Duane Picanco said the city will continue to search for the right person.

"We are certainly disappointed, but we will now focus on restarting the search process, and making sure our police department gets the support they need," Picanco said.

Mayor Picanco says the firm that recruited Guaderrama, Avery & Associates, will conduct another search free of charge.

"This occasionally happens but we remain confident in our ability to find a great police chief for the City of Paso Robles," said Bill Avery, President of Avery & Associates.

The new search is expected to take 5 months. Acting Police Chief Robert Burton has agreed to continue to lead the department.

In an email sent to KSBY, Picanco said he is confident the city will rally behind the department.

"We are all anxious to leave behind the struggles of the recession and the turbulence of 2012. I think that 2013 will be an opportunity to 'reboot,' to restart. Over the past year, the Police Department has successfully maintained community safety despite the many distractions, and strengthened department staffing with both seasoned and new officers. In fact, nearly one-third of the force is new to Paso Robles. These staff bring with them diverse experiences and perspectives that, added to the insights and community awareness of long-term Paso Robles officers, establish the capacity to rebuild. With Captain Burton's command experience, we can find new and better ways to protect and serve," Picanco said.

Former Paso Robles police chief Lisa Solomon stepped down in March after several complaints were made against her by officers.

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1 year ago

The City of Paso Robles announces new Police Chief Finalist

The City of Paso Robles has announced Manuel "Manny" Guaderrama as the finalist for the position of Paso Robles Police Chief.

The city received over sixty applications for the position and through an extensive recruitment process, Guaderrama is the number one candidate for the city.

Over a two day interviewing process, Guaderrama reviewed his background and skills with more than 25 individuals.

Guaderrama is a Captain with the San Diego Police Department where he has served for more than 29 years. He has experienced a wide range of police assignments. He was promoted to Captain in 2008 which placed him as the commanding officer for the Southern Division, which is made up of nine communities.

The City must now do an extensive background exam, and conduct a physical. If Guaderrama passes these tests, the Paso Robles City Council will then formally confirm him as new Police Chief. The city is expecting to make that announcement sometime next month.

1 year ago

Busy day of interviews for top police chief candidates

The top two candidates for Paso Robles police chief had a busy day of interviews planned for Friday.

According to Paso Robles City Manager Jim App, one candidate is from Fresno and the other is from San Diego. Both are men, according to App, who describes them as "seasoned police veterans with more than 20 years experience." App also says each has "command experience."

Interviews on Friday are taking place at City Hall. The candidates will meet with App, police management, along with every council member and department head. App expects those involved in the hiring process to take a few days to think about the desired outcome.

A total of 60 people applied for the position after former police chief Lisa Solomon stepped down in March amid accusations of misconduct. Recruiting firm Avery Associates solicited applications, did face-to-face interviews and reference checks and narrowed the field down to six. Three panels made up of five members each narrowed the field down to two.

The candidate chosen for the job must undergo a peace officer background investigation, a 6-week long investigation of all known affiliations, both personal and professional, throughout his career and life.

1 year ago

Paso Robles City closed applications process for new police chief, but far from being complete

The City of Paso Robles closed the application process for hiring a new police chief on August 31st. The City manager says there were 60 applicants who applied for the position, half from California, the other half from out of state.

Preliminary screening will get underway and will be conducted by an outside firm the city has hired to help. Avery and Associates will begin the interview process which is expected to take a couple months. The company plans to conduct a paper screening, interview process and contact the applicants references. When those are complete the company will narrow the search down to about 6 to 8 candidates and then present that to the City of Paso Robles.

Then the second round of interviews start. The candidates will then be presented to 3 interview panel each made up of a city police chief, 2 citizens, a police officer and a member of a city management.

The city will decided how to select the citizens that will be involved in the selection process at the next City Council meeting expected to take place on September 18th.

2 years ago

Paso Robles asking for input on search for new police chief.

The City of Paso Robles is turning to the community for input on the process of finding a new permanent police chief.

City staff has scheduled town hall meeting on Saturday, June
2, 2012 from 10:00AM to noon in the City Council Chambers. The consultants hired to conduct the search will solicit community input on the desirable traits and background sought for the next chief. Written and/or verbal comments are welcome.

Comments can be submitted to Avery Associates, attention Bill Avery, at 3-1/2 N. Santa Cruz Ave. Suite A, Los Gatos, CA 95030. Comments may also be submitted electronically to prchief@averyassoc.net.

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2 years ago

Paso Robles will spend almost $20,000 to find a new police chief

Paso Robles Mayor, Duane Picanco, says the City Council passed the vote tonight to hire an outside search firm to find a new police chief.

The city will spend almost $20,000 to hire William Avery and Associates to fill the position Lisa Solomon left open weeks ago when she resigned.

Community and city council members discussed the topic at a Paso Robles City Council meeting tonight. Mayor Picanco says he didn't hear as much opposition to the proposal as he was expecting. He says one person called the cost of the firm "unusually expensive," another person said he didn't "think it was necessary."

Still, the vote passed unanimously with a vote of 5-0.

City Manager, Jim App, says the firm has been working with the city for about 30 years. They've hired for other positions in the community and worked closely with the police department.

Council members say the position will be open to local applicants, as well. They say they are looking for the most qualified person for the job.

"I think the price is worth it because Avery is familiar with the community," Picanco said.

San Luis Obispo City Manager, Katie Lichtig, said San Luis Obispo also hired an outside search firm when they filled the police chief position last year. She says the city paid $12,500 to hire that company. The total cost of filling the position, including traveling and advertising, accounted for more than $18,000.

Paso Robles City Council members say the agreement between the city and the company should be signed by the end of the week. However, it may take six to eight months until a new police chief takes office.

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2 years ago

Paso Robles officials ready for new police chief, ask Los Gatos firm for help

Paso Robles officials told KSBY Tuesday that they're ready to find a new police chief, and have asked an executive search firm to help.

It will cost the city just under $20,000 to get the help. This, after former police chief Lisa Solomon resigned back in early April.

Solomon resigned after a former officer accused her of sexual harassment and, after a lawsuit was filed saying officers had to meet illegal ticket quotas. Police Captain Robert Burton has been filling the role.

The money for the firm would come from the city's general fund. The city council is meeting Tuesday night at 7:30 pm to see whether it should approve this. KSBY spoke to city manager, Jim App, Tuesday and he said this money will be spent wisely. The city doesn't want to make a mistake when finding a new chief, so that's why they're asking for help from William Avery & Associates.

"Yes, it costs money, but, you know, it's an investment well worth it when you're hiring a police chief," said Jim App.

William Avery & Associates, the firm that will possibly be looking for a the new police chief, has worked with the city for about 30 years now.

Jim App said the city approached the firm for help. "We're a man down, or a woman down, and we need to add somebody back," added App.

KSBY asked App why the city doesn't just hire from within the ranks. He said in years past, they were criticized for promoting from within. "You don't want to make the mistake. You don't want people who are busy doing too many other things," said App.

So they wanted to find a new approach. KSBY spoke to people who live in the area and the majority of them want the change; but say almost $20,000 for a firm that helps bring in candidates is too much money.

But, Jim said this firm is needed, especially with all the controversy that was surrounding the resignation of Lisa Solomon.

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2 years ago

Former Paso Robles Police chief withdraws worker's compensation claim

A worker's compensation claim filed before the Paso Robles Police chief's departure has been withdrawn.

Paso Robles City Manager Jim App says Lisa Solomon withdrew the claim April 12, almost one month after it was filed March 13.

When asked last month, App would not go into details about the worker's compensation claim, citing privacy laws required for personnel.

Solomon's last day as chief was April 2. The city accepted her resignation in late March, calling it a mutual agreement. Solomon was at the center of controversy over reported accusations of sexual misconduct and a lawsuit filed against the city for alleged illegal ticket quotas.

Upon her departure, Solomon received a lump sum settlement of $250,000, but only $20,000 was for unpaid wages. The settlement shows that the $230,000 balance is for damage to Solomon's reputation.

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2 years ago

Paso Robles police chief and city reach separation agreement

The Paso Robles city council announced late Monday a separation agreement with Police Chief Lisa Solomon. The move that was the result of a nearly hour long closed session discussion came two days before Chief Solomon was to return from a leave of absence.

The chief had been under scrutiny since late January when a former officer accused her of unwanted sexual advances and retaliation. A Paso Robles police officer later filed a lawsuit against the city claiming he was subject to illegal ticket quotas. Questions about the public's safety also surfaced after the city was forced to operate with 14 fewer officers than it did in 2007.

The city council added an item to its closed session agenda on Monday regarding the discipline, release or dismissal of a public employed.

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