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Hermosa Beach Public Safety Director Challenges Firing

June 03, 1993|MARTIN MILLER

Hermosa Beach Public Safety Director Steve Wisniewski will meet with City Manager Rick Ferrin today to challenge a city move to fire him.

Ferrin sent the embattled chief a letter last week announcing the city's "intent to terminate" Wisniewski, 46, who is responsible for the city's fire and police departments. Under city firing procedures, Wisniewski has a last chance today to try to change the city's mind.

On the advice of legal counsel, Ferrin would not elaborate on the reasons for the termination action. He said he expects to make a final decision on Wisniewski's status by early next week.

If Ferrin decides to go through with the firing, the city can stop paying Wisniewski his $84,800 salary. But Wisniewski could appeal the action to the county Civil Service Commission. Wisniewski has already requested retirement pay from the Public Employees Retirement System and filed a workers' compensation claim.

Wisniewski was placed on administrative leave March 4 after he was accused of several improprieties. The most serious was that he allegedly misled the City Council about a 1991 weapons exchange involving the Police Department and a national gun dealer. The chief also drew criticism for using a government vehicle for personal activities and improperly supervising funds for undercover narcotics buys.

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