OROVILLE, Calif. - The Oroville community is reacting after former Police Chief Joe Deal was terminated from his position on Tuesday.
Action News Now reached out to Deal, he did not want to go on camera but put out a statement saying:
"As the Public Safety Director I was an “at will” contract employee. The City Council voted to terminate my contract without cause, which was an option contained within my contract. The Council chose to go a different direction with their Public Safety Director. I would like to thank the city and the council for the opportunity to lead the Department for almost 2 years and I’d also like to thank the community for their support in the role."
"I was shocked, it was definitely a surprise," said Pastor Stephen Terry, from Oroville. "I have the greatest respect for Chief Deal, I've worked with him for many years, but I have the greatest respect for our city council too, so I don't anything about what it was but I am kind of surprised to see it."
"They didn't really give him a chance, they didn't ask anything about it, they just terminated him, it's uncalled for that's what I think," said community member, John Jackson.
Action News Now asked Mayor, Chuck Reynolds what led the council to make the decision. "The city decided to go in a different direction, we let him go without cause, we have that option in the contract, so we're just going in a different direction."
When asked about the reason for the termination, Reynolds responded, "It's a personnel issue and I cannot comment."
Reynolds said Oroville City Administrator Bill LaGrone will step in as the interim Police Chief.
"Anywhere between 90 and 120 days," said LaGrone.
Tuesday, the Oroville City Council voted to remove the Chief Deal of his duty immediately.
The council voted 5-1 with one abstention to relieve the Chief of Police, according to the city attorney.