PASADENA : Fire Chief Files Claim of Slander by Officials
Embattled Pasadena Fire Chief Kaya Pekerol has filed a claim against the city, alleging that City Manager Philip Hawkey slandered him in connection with a performance dispute that led to Pekerol’s suspension.
Pekerol was suspended with pay Nov. 14. The chief returned to work Jan. 9. By then, Pekerol had filed a claim against Hawkey and other top city management officials alleging that they conspired to ruin Pekerol’s reputation.
On Jan. 18, Pekerol filed a second claim, this time alleging that Hawkey had slandered and unfairly disciplined him in November. The claim, which is the first step in the filing of a lawsuit against a governmental entity, seeks $4.6 million in damages. The claim does not specify the exact nature of the alleged slander.
Hawkey has declined to discuss Pekerol’s suspension, saying only that it was related to an unspecified performance issue.
Pekerol, who was the target of a no-confidence vote taken by firefighters soon after the Altadena fire last year, claims that he was suspended for going over Hawkey’s head and directly appealing to Mayor Kathryn Nack for a pay increase.