As of November 7, the City of Tulare is potentially spending more than $37,000 per month on police personnel who are not currently working, having been placed on paid administrative leave pending investigations. The sum includes their salaries and benefits, but does not include any additional pay, which may be paid to Acting Police Chief Barry Jones, or other additional overtime pay of others in the department.
Police Chief Wes Hensley was placed on leave by City Manager Joe Carlini some seven weeks ago. His status remains pending investigation, and it is unclear if the investigation has even started.
Jones was named acting chief by Carlini at the time of Hensley being placed on leave. Jones is actually the Tulare PD investigations captain and is the longest serving captain within the department, which is why Carlini placed him in charge.
On Tuesday, Capt. Fred Yncla and Lt. Jerod Boatman were also placed on leave – an apparent coincidence, as they were not placed on leave for the same reason(s), Carlini said. According to Carlini, he and Jones discussed situations surrounding Yncla and Boatman, with Carlini deciding Jones should place them on leave status.
“Stuff like this does have an effect on morale,” Jones said, “but I want to stress this will not hinder patrol, or change in anyway [the duties of the department].”
There are more than 75 sworn police officers serving the city and safety is their Number 1 priority, Jones said. The department is currently looking to hire additional officers which has nothing to do with the three officials being out on leave, but rather with other officers who have elected to leave, he said.
Henlsey, Yncla and Boatman have been placed on leave for personnel matters, which remain confidential.
“It’s a process,” Carlini said. “It takes time for investigation.”
Carlini was named permanent city manager of Tulare earlier this year. He had served the city’s public works department for the prior four years.
As city manager, he has 355 employees under him and serves 63,000 citizens, he said.
“If it’s something we need to investigate, I need to investigate,” he said, “I did that as public works director and I do it as city manager.
“I don’t do things on a whim. I am very thorough. I think things out and then make decisions.
“The citizens need to be patient for the investigations to take place.
“Resolutions will be made, and I will stick by those resolutions,” he said.
Council members have expressed they are not at liberty to discuss the issues regarding the police personnel on leave.
Any further questions have been referred to the city’s attorney, Heather Phillips. Phillips returned a phone call leaving a message saying these are private personnel management issues and she could not comment any further. She did confirm, in the past, Chief Hensley’s situation as personnel in nature and not criminal. While Yncla’s and Boatman’s situations are also deemed personnel, per Carlini, it is not yet confirmed that there is nothing criminal in play.
Hensley has served the department for 26 years and was promoted to chief in the summer of 2015. Yncla and Boatman have both served in the department for around 17 years – Yncla being promoted to captain in the spring of 2015; Boatman, promoted to lieutenant also in the spring of 2015, was named Officer of the Year for 2008.
9 thoughts on “Tulare Police Personnel on Administrative Leave – Costing City Thousands”
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What this story leaves out is Hensley wasn’t just promoted, no one retired , Hensley replace Breckenridge who was basically forced to resign after he was on placed on Administrative leave for close to a year..Same story we heard then, Its a “personnel” matter. The only time we hear of officers being place on paid administrative leave is when a officer is involved in a shooting, so whatever it it , it’s serious.
The difference is Hensley wants it to be public and said he has no problem with having it all aired so the public can make up their own minds. He has nothing to hide. Jerry wanted to hide behind his issues. Big Difference
Something doesn’t smell right! Is this City Council and City Manager conducting witch-hunts for personal reasons? Breckenridge made really good money during his paid leave over so-called personnel matters (at least everyone knew what those personnel matters were). That city manager dragged that out way too long (of course Dorman was a friend of Jerry’s). Now here we go again except this time we are in the dark about what the so-called personnel matters are about. Paying out $37,000 a month of citizens money without any explanation just doesn’t sit right. If you want to keep citizens in the dark about what is really going on then at least put these guys on UNPAID administration leave.
I don’t understand Tulare City government. If you have a case against a city employee, you know within 3 or 4 weeks whether you will proceed. Otherwise, you build your case against them while they are still on the job. Especially if it just involves personal behavior. This precedent of putting everyone on paid leave while you build a case has everything backwards. And it is a waste of taxpayer money.
California law mandates that these investigations be confidential. The responses that the city is permitted to provide are extremely limited.
The reason law enforcement employees are placed on leave is that they have rights per state law, specifically California Code 3300-3313. The long and short of it is that employees who are under investigation are placed on administrative leave due to the fact that no punitive action can be taken against them unless the case is investigated and the accusation of wrong doing has been substantiated. If you send an employee home on unpaid leave it constitutes a punitive action as they are losing money. And since no punitive action can be taken until the alleged wrong doing has been investigated and substantiated, you find yourself facing these rather costly situations when more than one member of a police department is being investigated.
Actions that “insure” that the community is being informed that “The City has reasons” for questioning these officers’ lack of personal integrity and trustworthiness; actions “insuring” that the community will wildly speculate on the reasons behind these officers being put on admin leave; actions “insuring” reputations that have taken a lifetime to build are at risk of becoming tattered and soiled without regard to known facts. These actions aren’t considered to be punitive ……only taking away money is considered to be punitive. There should be a reasonable timeline set in place PRIOR to being placed on “paid” admin leave to actually start and conduct outside investigations (if truly needed as reasons should have already been adequately documented and substantiated). The investigation should be swift and fast enough to not be dragged out for a year or so out of fear of a lawsuit or looking out for a friend like Dorman did (look at the last two people who the city placed on “paid” leave….one for over a year and the other for almost a year). If the City feels there is ample reason enough to terminate their employment then do so……. if not then let them go back to work and “earn” the salary that they are still continuing to receive. SAVE OUR TAX DOLLARS!!!!
So two more members of the PD’s command staff placed on Admin Leave? With no reason why? Are they also part of the double secret……..yet to be released investigation? So are (some) members of the council, mayor and City Manager going to take the rest of the command staff, sergeants and line officers hostage also? Who is next? Good men, leaders….doing a thankless, selfless, stressful job placed on Admin Leave, for what a personal vendetta, a disagreement? It’s my understanding from certain sources the mayor himself is unaware of the city managers intentions or reasons for the administrative leaves. But he agrees with the situation ( I can smell the BS) is this based on ego, arrogance or a simple distaste for TPD or maybe its Law Enforcement in general. Citizens of Tulare the men and women who are charged with your safety and protection are under siege. It’s unbelievable that you (somebody who sits on the council) even found an elderly man to speak at a meeting about the Chief being “crooked” well played council to get your jab in on that one. I guess some members of the council know how the legal system works ie, raise a fraction of doubt and get acquitted, you only need one right? Its worked for some of you at least once. 18 years doing the same job as the men you placed on leave do. 100’s of investigations, never have I seen such shady actions and I worked narcotics. So to the Mayor and City Manager as you play games with those men’s lives and careers, the police department suffers, the city suffers. Everyday some (not all) of you council members (Mr. Mayor and City Manager included) appear to be more deceitful, ignorant and corrupted by some sort of personal gain. You may have fooled or manipulated some citizens but not all of us. Great leaders have always been known to lead from the front. Not by arrogance, ego or ones own personal gain.
Thank you Chad for your comments. I could not have stated it any better. Tulare citizens please stay awake and pay attention to the actions of our elected officials. Our police department is suffering as is our city. Come on Mr. Mayor and City Manager, let’s get it together…resolve this situation and move the city forward!
So I’m confused… the response by the City Manager to “Why are you placing the Chief on paid leave?” is to place two more people on paid leave? “It’s a process” well how about you finish one process before starting two others? You claim to not do things on a whim but this looks very whimsical. I do agree with him “If it’s something we need to investigate, I need to investigate,” You certainly do so how about you get investigating and quit wasting tax payers money. It shouldn’t take seven plus weeks without any progress.