A Press Release from the Campaign to Elect Jose Sigala
Today Tulare Mayor Jose Sigala called on Chris Harrell, the Chair of the City of Tulare Board of Public Utilities (BPU) Commission, to immediately resign his commission appointment.
“Today I communicated with Chris Harrell that I demand he immediately resign today by 2:00 pm from the BPU given his arrest for allegedly putting our children at risk. His resignation will allow the BPU to move forward with taking care of city business without any unnecessary distractions,” said Mayor Sigala.
It was reported in press reports earlier this week that Chris Harrell was arrested by the Tulare county Sheriff’s department for allegedly soliciting a minor for sex in an undercover sex decoy sting that had been underway for months. He was booked into the Tulare county Pre-Trial Facility where he awaits formal charges and court appearances.
“Chris Harrell was arrested for some very serious allegations that I join with the community in not tolerating and while I recognize that he has a right to due process and his day in court, I strongly demand he resign from the BPU. This will allow him to focus his time and attention in addressing his legal issues”, added Mayor Sigala.
The Tulare city charter allows the Mayor to nominate BPU commissioners with the consent of the city council. Mr. Harrell was appointed by the Mayor and received confirmation of his appointment by the council on a 5 – 0 vote, including Council Members Greg Nunley and Carlton Jones supporting his appointment. According to the City Attorney, the removal of a commissioner also requires a vote by the city council.
Mayor Sigala at the Tuesday, October 6th council meeting requested and received the support of the council to place on a future agenda the topic of the removal of Mr. Harrell. “If I had the unilateral authority to remove Mr. Harrell from the BPU, I would do it immediately, but I don’t have that authority without the city council support. I have communicated to Mr. Harrell that I expect his immediate resignation by 2:00 pm today, Thursday, October 8th”, continued Mayor Sigala.
“If I do not receive his resignation today I will move forward by calling a Special Meeting on Friday the 9th afternoon to allow the council to move forward in discussing my request for his removal. I want Mr. Harrell to understand that I consider this a very serious matter and that I will press for the council to take the appropriate action”, concluded Mayor Sigala.