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Imperial Chief Wins Job Back

Posted on Thursday, August 01, 1996 at 12:00PM

Long-time Imperial Police Chief Avis Moore was reinstated as police chief after a long investigation and recommendation that she be fired by the city manager. Ironically the city manager who made the recommendation lost his job as a result.

On February 14, 1996, newly hired City Manager Baldev Josan placed Moore and three other police officers on administrative leave with pay while he conducted an investigation into misconduct allegations. Josan hired outside attorneys to conduct the investigation that lasted nearly five months.

After the investigation was concluded the city manager recommended termination for Moore. The recommendation must be confirmed by the City Council.

Moore was represented by LDF Panel Attorney Everett Bobbitt of San Diego. Hundreds of pages of “Skelly” documents were provided to Moore by the city manager.

Not only did the documents fail to support any of the sustained allegations, virtually every procedural right normally provided to police officers was ignored. Faced with what was expected to be a long legal battle with the City of Imperial, Moore prepared to meet with the City Council expecting the worst.

Moore insisted on the right to a public hearing because she knew that the charges would not withstand public scrutiny. The City Council also reviewed for the first time all of the investigative documents amassed to support the city manager’s recommendation.

When the public notice of a special City Council meeting was posted it was apparent that the tide had changed in Moore’s favor. Not only was the recommendation of the city manager on the agenda, a recommendation to terminate the city manager was scheduled as the only other agenda item.

The council meeting had to be moved from City Hall to the VFW hall to accommodate the overflow crowd that turned out to support Moore. On June 12 the council met to determine the fate of Moore. In rather short order the recommendation for discipline was voted down unanimously by the council.

The council then retired into executive session for 20 minutes. When they returned, City Manager Josan immediately resigned his position.

It is rare indeed when the result of a recommendation for termination results in the person making the recommendation losing their job. Chief Moore is back to work.

She did not ever expect to need PORAC LDF legal representation. She has expressed her gratitude for the instant help provided to her by PORAC LDF staff and the attorneys from the LDF provider.

PORAC Legal Defense Administrator Ed Fishman Testimony: Law Enforcement Use of Body Cameras.