Since he was promoted on an interim basis last year I have believed that former museum director Joe Felz was in way over his head. His role in handling the Kelly Thomas homicide has been fuzzy, at best. He seems to have been prepared to let his underling, Chief Sellers make the decisions (or choose not to make any decisions at all) and let police union boss Andrew Goodrich be the official voice of Fullerton – passing half-truths, irrelevancies, or outright lies.
My guess is that Felz abdicated the authority given him by the City Council and handed it over to Pat McKinley.
The only thing I’ve heard from Felz was a lame-ass attempt to play word games by saying no settlement offer was made to Ron Thomas, father of the victim. Of course that was such a sniveling lie that it alone should have earned Felz a half-hour stay in Jay Cicinelli’s basement Taser room.
Here’s an observation made by one of our commenters “Do you know”:
One person the citizen’s of Fullerton are letting fall under the radar is City Manager Joe Felz. The mayor and city council of Fullerton are largely part-time figure heads. The real power in the day to day operations of any small city is in the hands of its city manager. The city manager is also the boss of the chief of police. The chief of police does not even have the power to terminate an employee. The chief can suspend, or place officer’s on administrative leave, but they can only recommend termination. The city manager is the only one with the power to permanently remove an officer from their employment.
Chief Sellers initial inaction in this case is every bit the fault of Fullerton City Manager Joe Felz, as there is no way he did not know what is going on. Chief’s of police throughout California are on the phone with their city manager’s several times a day over one issue or another. City manager’s get their daily marching orders from regional heads of the California League of Cities. Since Chief Sellers did not take action in the early stages of this case, City Manager Joe Felz is every bit as culpable as Chief Sellers. Possibly more.
I’m inclined to agree. We are always told what a nice guy Joe Felz is. Maybe so. But it looks like he’s turned over the keys of the City of Fullerton to a rogue police department.