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Angels Camp fires police chief

Angels Camp Police Chief Dale Mendenhall was fired Wednesday by the City Council.

The decision was made during a closed session Tuesday and announced without explanation in a two-sentence press release Wednesday morning.

   Mayor Jack Lynch, contacted Wednesday, said the decision was not due to “malfeasance” of any kind on the part of Mendenhall, but would not comment further.
    “All parties are better served right now with that statement to stand,” he said, referring to the press release.
    Tuesday’s closed session also included reviews of the city’s fire chief, assistant fire chief, engineer and interim water-wastewater plant manager.
    Given the city’s projected budget shortfalls and shrinking revenues, economics may have played into the decision. Last week the council directed all departments to prepare two budgets; one cutting 10 percent, the other 15 percent.
    Mendenhall made more than $185,000 in salary and benefits last year, according to Mary Kelly, the city’s director of administrative services. As an “at-will” employee, Mendenhall could be let go at any time, she said.
    His dismissal adds another vacancy at the top in Angels Camp. The city has been without an administrator for about seven months, since  Tim Shearer left to prepare for a deployment to Iraq.
    And in February, Water-Wastewater Plant Operator Carol Woolf stepped down following a reprimand of her conduct during a meeting between council members and water officials over a city citation.
 Mendenhall’s last day was Wednesday. He joined the city in January 2008 after working with the Delano Police Department for 28 years.
    Mendenhall replaced Tony Tacheira, who retired after six years with the department.

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