Santa Monica : Fired Official Files Claim

The fired head of Santa Monica’s Rent Control Agency has filed a $500,000 claim against the city, demanding a hearing to examine why he was dismissed.

Former Rent Control Administrator Howell Tumlin may be entitled to back pay, monetary damages and reinstatement, according to the claim filed last week by his attorney, Barry Fisher.

In the claim, Tumlin also demands payment of a bonus.

“Even if legally they have the right to fire him, the fundamental fairness covenant, good faith, fair dealing and due process that a progressive city such as Santa Monica should care about require some explanation and an opportunity to respond,” Fisher said in a telephone interview.


Tumlin, who held the job for more than seven years, was fired Dec. 1. by the Rent Control Board, which said it wanted the agency to move in a “new direction.”

Members at the time declined to give more specific reasons for the dismissal, citing a clause in Tumlin’s contract that they said allows them to fire Tumlin without cause.