Pacific Mayor Cy Sun appoints Annette Spicuzza interim police chief

Annette Spicuzza - Photo courtesy UC Davis
Annette Spicuzza
— image credit: Photo courtesy UC Davis

Pacific Mayor Cy Sun confirmed on Wednesday that he had hired Annette Spicuzza as the interim Public Safety Director.

Spicuzza fills in for current Public Safety Director John Calkins, who is on paid administrative leave, pending the results of an investigation into unspecified allegations of harassment and intimidation.

“I don’t know how long the investigation will take; I might take a week or a month,” Sun wrote in an e-mail. “That being the situation, I asked Annette Spicuzza to pinch-hit in the interim. Annette is hired as an interim Public Safety Director.”

Sun – who on March 22 placed Pacific Police Lt. Edwin Massey on paid administrative leave – declined to elaborate on the details of the investigation, except to write that he had put the officers on leave for their own protection.

Spicuzza has more than 20 years of experience with police departments in Chicago, Federal Way and the University of Washington. As chief of the University of California, Davis Police Department in November 2011, Spiccuza gained national notoriety when her officers pepper sprayed several students protesting on campus.

Former California Supreme Court Justice Cruz Reynoso led a task force that investigated the controversial incident, and it later released a 190-page report highly critical of the department's handling of the protest, asserting it "should and could have been prevented."

"The command and leadership structure of the UCDPD is very dysfunctional," the report stated.

Spicuzza resigned from her post as chief in April 2012. In an e-mail, she told the Sacramento Bee that, "As the university does not want this incident to be its defining moment, nor do I wish for it to be mine. I believe in order to start the healing process, this chapter of my life must be closed."

Although they had yet to be notified about the appointment as of Wednesday afternoon, the Pacific City Council must approve Spiccuza’s appointment.

“I have not been informed by the mayor about any interim police chief,” Pacific Council President Leanne Guier said.


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