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City Council Fires San Fernando Interim Police Chief Gil Carrillo PDF Print E-mail
Written by Diana Martinez   
Thursday, 05 July 2012 05:02

D. MARTINEZ/SFVS

Gil Carrilo

Three and a half months after he started the job, interim police Chief Gil Carrillo has been given his walking papers. He was hired on March 15 with a six month contract to end on September 15, and was to be considered for the job permanently.

"The council said that it was not the right fit," said city administrator Al Hernandez. Carrillo was notified of his termination on Tuesday, July 2nd.

In a previous interview with the (italics begins) San Fernando Valley Sun/El Sol (italics ends) Carrillo, retired from L.A. County Sheriff's Department, said the long commute from his Rowland Heights home had required him to get up at 5:00 A.M. The job required him to attend council meetings which often ran very late into the evening and it was noted by residents in council chambers that Carrillo, sometimes had a difficult time staying awake.

One city insider speculated that perhaps the transition from retirement back into the demands of running a police department proved to be too challenging for Carrillo.

Carrillo could not be reached for comment by press time. He told the(italics begins) San Fernando Valley Sun/El Sol(italics ends) that it was fulfilling a lifetime dream to be a police chief. Carrillo is best known for being a lead detective in the Richard Ramirez "Night Stalker" case in 1985. Carrillo was called upon during the trial in 1989 and his work on case was portrayed in a made for TV movie. Manhunt Search for the Night Stalker."

Upon his hire, Carrillo told the city council that they would see a difference in the department soon after he took over, but the council, voted in closed session, to remove him before the end of his contract.

San Fernando police veteran, Lt. Robert Parks is expected to step in as interim chief, as he had done previously before Carrillo had been hired.

Residents were taken by surprise when Carrillo arrived and protested the council's quiet move to hire him. They called the hire another backroom deal and questioned the expense of paying both Chief Eley, placed on administrative leave, and incurring an additional cost of another interim Police Chief.

San Fernando resident, Linda Jauron Campenella, with a long line of other residents, addressed the council last March. Campenella from the chamber's public podium, apologized to Carrillo. She told him "it wasn't his fault" that the council majority failed to bring him in correctly through the front door rather than hiring him secretly in another private back room deal..

Residents told Carrillo during public comments that he was probably in the dark, as they were about the details of a jail cell death in San Fernando's jail and asked whether he was aware that an effort was underway to recall the very people who hired him.

Carrillo walked into a storm of scandal and controversy and a game of musical chairs for the chief's spot. Police Chief Robert Eley was placed on administrative leave after a video showed up on YouTube of Fred Flores, an aide in Congressman Howard Berman's office being ticketed. Eley was accused of "fixing" the ticket for the long time staffer.

Eley had replaced Chief Anthony "Tony" Ruelas who was at the center of scandal and scores of detailed emails that provided a map into the affair he had with former cadet Maria Barajas. Ruelas had her terminated as he became a top candidate for the Chief's chair and Barajas filed a lawsuit.

Complicating matters even further for anyone who took the position, Mayor Brenda Esqueda has been involved in an affair with married San Fernando Sgt. Alvaro Castellon, who was named in the Maria Barajas lawsuit. Mayor Esqueda, Council members Mario Hernandez and Maribel De La Torre were reported to have interfered when the police investigation and stepped in to prevent Castellon's superiors from placing him on administrative leave. According to Barajas, Castellon told her that she could "disappear." The Barajas lawsuit was settled with the city for an undisclosed sum.

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Last Updated on Thursday, 05 July 2012 05:06