A few weeks ago, every San Clemente resident had their rights violated. Our police chief, Kelson McDaniel, was forced to resign amid a host of accusations of gross mismanagement by members of the police force rank and file. Now these accusations may have been truthful and well justified, or they may have been false and unjustified, but those of us who live here in San Clemente might never know.
Our City Council decided to "protect" us from knowing by forcing the chief to resign before an investigation could be completed and the facts revealed. The City Council is very aware of this, as could be seen at the last council meeting when it repeatedly refused to answer questions due to an expressed fear of pending litigation.
If we had a complete investigation, everyone would win. McDaniel would learn of any real errors in his management style so that he could improve it, and he would get the due process to which he and every other citizen is entitled. The policemen would get a chance to express their complaints in the proper forum. The citizens would be granted their right to know that they were receiving the best possible police protection.
Council members stated that they took the action they did for the good of the residents of San Clemente. We don't need to be protected from the facts by shoving this situation under the rug.
So how about it, City Council? Can we stop violating McDaniel's and the community's rights and give him an open hearing on the matter? It might help us re-establish our reputation as a responsible and fair-minded community.
MAURICE N. HANSEN