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Atascadero police chief let go after being placed on leave

Posted at 6:12 PM, Sep 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-15 00:29:55-04

Atascadero city leaders announced Wednesday that Police Chief, Robert (Bob) Masterson has been released from his employment agreement.

City leaders announced on Sept. 8 that Chief Masterson was placed on leave.

According to a press release, the Council confirmed the release of Chief Masterson was under a 'not-for-cause basis.' This clause is often included in employment contracts for municipal government executives and allows for release if the employee is not a good fit.

Chief Masterson and City Manager, Rachelle Rickard state that "incompatible management styles" is the compelling reason behind the employment release.

Rickard stated, "Chief Masterson is a very capable Chief with strong leadership skills, so it was only after very careful consideration, that it was decided to end Chief Masterson's employment with the City."

While being chief, Masterson worked to address and implement programs for the homeless population. He also sent officers to Critical Incident Stress Management training, led the team through the COVID timeframe, worked to revamp the budget, and hired seven officers and four dispatchers.

"We appreciate Chief Masterson's service to the City over the last 20 months and thank him for the dedication, integrity, commitment, and heart that he brought to the job every day," stated Rickard.

Bob Masterson has held the Police Chief position since January 2021.

City leaders are now looking for a replacement.