In an unexpected move, the Santa Monica Rent Control Board has fired rent control administrator Howell Tumlin, effective Dec. 1.
Tumlin, who has held the job for seven years, said he was "totally shocked." He bid an emotional farewell to his staff Wednesday evening.
In a closed session Monday night, the five-member board gave Tumlin 44 hours to submit his resignation or be fired. When the deadline ran out Wednesday afternoon, board members Susan Davis and Wayne Bauer handed Tumlin his walking papers at his office.
The board members said they were not unhappy with the agency's work under Tumlin but that they sought a "new direction."