The Civil Service Commission for the City of Pacific ruled on Thursday to reinstate Pacific Police Chief John Calkins to duty, overturning his May 18 termination by Mayor Cy Sun.
In a 15-page decision, the commission found that Sun’s termination of Calkins “was made for political reasons and was not made in good faith or cause.”
The commission also found that Sun’s testimony in the two-day appeal hearing was “was not credible or worthy of belief.”
Calkins was terminated for yelling at city staff at a Jan 17 Pacific City Council workshop, after he found out the department’s requests for new patrol cars had been cancelled by Sun. He was put on paid administrative leave by Sun on Jan. 18 and terminated by the mayor on May 18.
Calkins appealed the decision and argued at the hearing before the commission in August that his termination was politically motivated and a “set up.”
Sun testified at the hearing that he had no plans to fire Calkins before he came into office. However, according to the commission’s decision the testimony of Pacific Police Lt. Edwin Massey and former City Clerk Jane Montgomery – who both said Sun had told them of his plans to fire Calkins before the Jan. 17 incident – was more credible.
“(Massey’s) testimony in this hearing was especially credible when describing the mayor’s political plans and the mayor’s strong intent and determination to get rid of Mr. Calkins,” the commission found.
Although the commission ruled that Calkins be reinstated immediately and awarded lost wages and benefits dating back to May 18, it did rule that his outburst “warrants some kind of discipline,” and found that a one-month suspension without pay was sufficient. The commission ruled that Calkins had already served his suspension and that four-weeks pay should be deducted from his back-pay award.
The commission also stated in its decision that it “encourages the mayor and Mr. Calkins to work together in serving the citizens of Pacific.”
According to the Pacific Police Department, Chief Calkins returned to duty on Friday.
To view the commissions 15-page decision go here.