Former police chief up for new post

Chris Shawkey.

Costa Mesa’s former police chief, who left the department in 2011 amid concerns that he used city resources for personal travel to Arizona, is among five finalists to become police chief in Washington state.

Chris Shawkey is applying to become the top cop in Des Moines, a suburb of about 29,000 located about 15 miles from Seattle.

He resigned from the Costa Mesa Police Department in 2011, telling the Daily Pilot at the time that he “never shied away from the difficult issues” and was “proud of the job [he did in his] four years at the department.”

Shawkey was placed on leave in November 2010 by then-City Manager Allan Roeder after allegations surfaced that he had expensed mileage to Arizona, where he used to live, and other states. There were also allegations of chronic absenteeism.

Shawkey did not return a call seeking comment.

If selected for the position, Shawkey would oversee a full-time staff of 49, according to Des Moines interim Police Chief John E. O’Leary.

O’Leary would not discuss matters pertaining to the selection process or the qualifications of the 60 or so applicants.

The other top Des Moines candidates hail are from Oak Harbor, Wash.; Santa Paula, Calif.; Page, Ariz.; and Vancouver, Wash.

The applicants are expected to meet with residents at a reception Monday.

After an interim chief left, Tom Gazsi became Costa Mesa police chief in Costa Mesa in September.

Twitter: @lawilliams30