Huntington Park Police Chief Frank Sullivan has left his post in a move to calm the turmoil in his 65-officer department, which has been torn by allegations of sexual harassment, discrimination and favoritism.
"In the best interest of the city, the chief and the City Council have made the decision for the chief to retire in November," Mayor Ric Loya said Tuesday in a statement. "Because we don't want a lame-duck chief, the chief will go on leave now with an interim chief to come on board as soon as possible."
Sullivan did not return calls from The Times, but city officials said the City Council met in closed session for more than three hours Monday to discuss the chief, whose job has been in question in recent months amid various allegations.
The city is facing a wrongful termination suit by a female former officer that names the chief and the city, while a second female officer has filed a sexual harassment complaint that names Sullivan and another officer, according to sources.
In February, the city settled an anti-Semitic harassment suit for $355,000. Detective Alan Tavelman, who said he was subjected to religious slurs and harassment throughout his nine years on the force, named Sullivan in that suit.
Sullivan, 49, turned over his duties to Capt. Daniel A. Leili on Tuesday, officials said. A 27-year department veteran, Sullivan will continue to collect his $7,714 monthly salary until he becomes eligible for retirement benefits in November. Leili will serve as acting chief until an interim chief is hired.
Chief Administrative Officer Donald L. Jeffers said the city was considering a retired chief from another city as an interim replacement.
Council members would not comment directly on the reasons for Sullivan's departure.