Councilman says police chief should be put on leave

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CITY HALL — In front of the bereaved family of a police sergeant who killed himself last week, Burbank City Councilman David Gordon on Tuesday called on his colleagues to direct the city manager to place Police Chief Tim Stehr on administrative leave amid an FBI investigation into police misconduct and a growing stack of lawsuits against the city.

Citing the recent public suicide of police Sgt. Neil Thomas Gunn, who was named in an FBI probe into police misconduct along with several other officers, Gordon said the City Council had a “moral and legal responsibility” to place Stehr on leave until the investigations were concluded.

“The stress and tension in our Police Department has understandably become toxic,” Gordon said. “We cannot close our eyes or cover our ears to what is going on.”

Gunn died Thursday of a self-inflicted shotgun wound to the chest at the corner of North Sunset Canyon Drive and East Harvard Road, said Lt. Larry Dietz of the Los Angeles County coroner’s office.

Gordon’s comments were met with repeated applause from a chamber packed with Burbank police officers, many of whom joined the Gunn family in a candlelight vigil outside the steps of the police station.

The group, carrying a large portrait of Gunn and candles bearing his name and badge number, marched up the steps of City Hall before the council meeting.

Click here for the rest of the story.

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Written by Christopher Cadelago

November 4, 2009 at 10:24 am

Posted in burbank, politics, Public Safety

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