A Burbank police commissioner who came under scrutiny after suggesting in November that a public speaker be “slapped around a bit” resigned his post Wednesday.
Police Commissioner Jim Etter, who made the comment during the public address portion of a joint meeting with the City Council, said he resigned because of the demands for his upcoming post on the Los Angeles County Fish and Game Commission.
Etter will begin his term on that commission on Aug. 2, according to Tony Bell, spokesman for Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich.
The City Council on Tuesday postponed a discussion that could have resulted in censuring Etter over his comments after the Police Commission declined to take up the issue in February.
Etter, who was appointed to the Police Commission in May 2009, made the comments to a resident who challenged his character. Later, Etter claimed the man was being used as a pawn as part of an old family feud with Burbank Councilman Dave Golonski.
Etter acknowledged the past few months haven’t been easy.
“It’s got me in turmoil all the time,” he said.
However, he said the underlying reason for his resignation is that he’s achieved what he wanted on the Police Commission, which he noted has increased the frequency of its meetings and now has more robust agendas, two things he said he has pushed for.
The group, which had been meeting quarterly, now meets monthly. The commission also has held two public forums.
Etter said the fish and game post fits with his interests in the outdoors and helping youth, having been involved with the Boy Scouts.
Etter has been on the county’s water appeals board for six years. He said that when he got an opportunity to be on the fish and game commission, he knew the time was right to leave the Police Commission.
“Why let somebody pound on you if you have no more to offer?” he said, adding he has the “ultimate respect of those who are seated” on the commission.
In his resignation letter, Etter said he believed the commission had “made great advances” during the time he had served, adding that he prayed his resignation “is accepted in the spirit and intent as a positive step in the right direction.”