CULVER CITY : Fire Chief Retires in Settlement With City

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Fire Chief Michael Olson, who was under investigation for alleged misuse of city property, has retired as part of a settlement with the city.

City Atty. Norman Herring said the City Council, meeting in closed session, decided Monday to end an investigation of Olson’s actions, opting instead to reach a settlement with him “to bring this matter to a close.”

Olson, who served in the Fire Department 26 years and was fire chief nine years, could not be reached for comment. But Mayor Albert Vera said Olson’s retirement will be effective immediately.


Under the terms of the settlement, Olson gave up any rights he may have had under workers’ compensation and wrongful-termination laws but will receive his retirement pension of about $60,000 a year, according to the city attorney.

Olson, 51, was placed on administrative leave May 30, when city officials began to look into allegations that he had allowed the misuse of city property. The city has declined to elaborate on the allegations.

Before being placed on administrative leave, Olson had applied for a disability retirement and workers’ compensation benefits, stemming from open heart surgery in 1992.

“It was a mutual agreement,” Vera said of Olson’s retirement. “It was in the best interest of the city.” Had the city continued its investigation and not granted Olson’s retirement request, the ensuing termination proceeding would have been lengthy and expensive for the city, Vera said.

Acting Fire Chief Gary Hoover will continue to serve in that role until the city selects a new chief, Vera said.