Once slammed in a negative telephone campaign by the Simi Valley police union, former Police Chief Lindsey Paul Miller has been endorsed for City Council by some of his former command staff in a letter distributed to Ventura County newspapers.
"Paul Miller . . . is without question superbly qualified and well prepared to serve our community as a member of our City Council," the letter reads. "Those that have worked with him the closest during his tenure as chief of police . . . support his candidacy without reservation."
The letter goes on to tout Miller's handling of events such as the Northridge earthquake and the local impact of the 1992 Los Angeles riots.
It concludes, "Paul Miller has the background, intellect and most of all, the strength of character to make those decisions."
The letter was signed by both captains who served under Miller before his retirement in February and by seven lieutenants and three support staff employees.
"I was very pleased to see that," Miller said this week.
"What's important to consider is that the people who signed that are the people I worked with day in and day out, and they had the most contact with me, as opposed to the people who were out in the field."
The Simi Valley Police Officers' Assn. did not endorse Miller, but rather endorsed incumbent Councilwoman Sandi Webb and insurance salesman Michael S. McCaffrey for council.
In fact, the union used an automatic telephone-dialer for several weeks to call Simi Valley voters and play a message urging them to vote for Webb and McCaffrey and not to vote for Miller.
The message charged that the department suffered from management problems and general turmoil during Miller's 13 years as chief.
The message was changed about two weeks ago to eliminate any mention of Miller, said Sgt. Gary Collins, the union president.