The city attorney acknowledged last week that Police Chief Richard A. Hoskin has been on administrative leave since Oct. 5 and is believed to be close to leaving the post he has held for less than three years.
His departure would come on the heels of resignations by the city manager, the director of housing and the director of community services--all of whom have either quit or been forced to resign in the last six months.
Hoskin's status was discussed during a closed session at the end of Wednesday's City Council meeting, after which City Atty. J. Robert Flandrick acknowledged that "certain problems have existed with respect to the operations" of the Police Department.
Flandrick declined to elaborate, saying only that he understood the chief was considering resigning or retiring as a result of those difficulties.
"Because there is always the potential for litigation, it has been my advice to the individual members of the City Council that they not discuss the matter of the chief's current status," Flandrick said.
Hoskin, 43, who joined the department as an officer in 1968, could not be reached for comment.
The Police Department had been troubled by a protracted contract dispute and disagreements about overtime pay that left officers in the 70-member police union working without a contract for part of last summer.
A high-ranking Baldwin Park police official said the union still has numerous grievances over Hoskin's performance and is planning to seek a "no confidence" vote against the chief.
Hoskin, who is on leave until further notice, will continue to receive his salary, which is in the range of $5,226 to $6,352 a month, said Nadja Cole, the city's personnel/risk manager.
In the meantime, Police Capt. Carmine Lanza has been named acting chief by Michael Yelton, acting city manager.