City hires Miller to be interim chief of SBPD as officials seek permanent top cop

Interim Police Chief Joe Miller. File photo

The Seal Beach City Council on Tuesday approved an agreement with Joe Miller to be interim chief of the Seal Beach Police Department following his scheduled retirement on Dec. 31.

Miller, who has spent more than 30 years in the SBPD, is scheduled to retire on Dec. 31 of this year.

Prior to approving the agreement, the council observed a moment of silence in remembrance of the victims and families of the Thousand Oaks murders.

The agreement is to have Miller serve as a temporary interim chief while the city seeks a permanent successor.

The agreement was one of nine Consent Calendar items. Consent Calendar items are voted on collectively without discussion unless removed from the calendar at the request of a council member or the public.

The city has begun recruiting a permanent successor to Miller, according to both the Seal Beach-Miller agreement and the staff report, written by Assistant City Manager Patrick Gallegos.

The staff report said the city will pay Miller a maximum of $99,040.32. According to the staff report, hiring a permanent police chief would cost more than $163,000 from the effective date of Jan. 1, to June 30, 2018.

According to the council resolution, the agreement will end either when Miller has worked 960 hours or when the city hires a new, permanent police chief.

The agreement says, “Employee is a retired person under the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS) and desires to retain his retirement status and benefits.” That, according to the agreement, means he will be limited to working 960 hours in a fiscal year.

The agreement calls for Miller to be paid $103.17 cents an hour. He will not receive overtime pay.

According to a staff report, then-commander Miller was appointed to the interim chief position on March 12, 2017, by City Manager Jill Ingram, shortly after the formal resignation of the previous chief. Miller was made acting chief in 2016 after then-Chief Joe Stilinovich was placed on administrative leave beginning Sept. 29, 2016, following a complaint. City officials never disclosed the nature of the complaint on the grounds that it was a personnel matter.

Stilinovich resigned in March 2017.

(Because the council meeting was held Tuesday night, the Sun will look at other issues from the meeting in the Nov. 22 issue.)


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