The City of Guadalupe bid farewell to its police chief Tuesday. As Gary Hoving leaves for retirement, council members also heard backlash from residents about his possible replacement.
Michael Cash is the top candidate for the position, but several residents expressed concerns about why he resigned in 2017 from a San Diego college campus department.
Councilmembers say he is fit for service, despite reports of numerous issues and his resignation as chief of the Southwestern College campus police in 2017.
"In totality, Michael Cash has a very unstable and erratic career," said one resident. "A career that would make a wise man pause before hiring him for a prestigious role in a community."
Another resident echoed that sentiment, "To put the position of a chief in the hands of this man to represent a Latino community is embarrassing."
The Southwestern College Sun newspaper reported multiple incidents involving cash since 2012 including being "accused of misfiring police weapons, covering up sexual assaults, misuse of police funds and inaccurate crime log reporting."
A Guadalupe councilmember stated in an email "the selection process also included a comprehensive background investigation along with psychological and medical exams, all of which have been successfully completed."
"Michael Cash has a broad-based and diverse background in public safety including service with the San Diego Police Department, the San Diego Chargers, Southwestern College, and consulting for FEMA," the email went on to state. "The City of Guadalupe is looking forward to a new era of community policing and innovative youth programs all of which Michael Cash will bring to Guadalupe if a contractual agreement is reached."
Regardless of who is hired, Guadalupe has financial struggles and the next police chief will need to be creative as to how to use those funds available.
"The big challenge of course is in the wise management of their money," said Hoving. "Hopefully they can develop some other sort of income sources. we were successful in developing a community development block grant that brought in $5 million this year. We’ve got a lot of work to do in that arena."
Cash did not attend the meeting on Tuesday. The details of the contract were not available.