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Fullerton Police Chief to Take Medical Leave

Fullerton Police Chief Michael Sellers

The LiberalOC has learned that Fullerton Police Chief Michael Sellers is stepping down for a medical leave due to an unspecified illness.  Sources say the leave could be 30 days to a year long. 

Two Fullerton city council members, Sharon Quirk-Silva and Bruce Whitaker, have already called on Sellers to resign due to his inaction in suspending six officers in lieu of the fatal beating of Kelly Thomas, a 37 year old mentally-ill  homeless man. 

The medical leave removes the city council’s ability to fire Sellers outright.  The reasons cited for his medical leave was not immediately available.

KOCE’s David Nazar will be guest hosting the Rick Reiff program and will dedicate the entire half hour to the Kelly Thomas issue.  Nazar will interview Ron Thomas, Kelly’s father; Tony Rackauackas, the OC District Attorney; Bruce Whitaker, a Fullerton City Council member; Chris Thompson, a writer for the Friends for Fullerton’s Future blog; Jim Palmer, President of the OC Rescue Mission; and a psychiatrist specializing in Schizophrenia.  The report will be posted on Voice of OC Wednesday night, and will air on PBS SoCal’s “Inside OC” on Thursday at 1 p.m. and Friday at 7:30 p.m.




  1. Trey W. Trey W. August 10, 2011

    “The medical leave removes the city council’s ability to fire Sellers outright. ”

    Well this was definitely a strategic out for Sellers. Just furthering the evidence in support of him being an inept public servant, sharply reminiscent of a ‘tea bagger’.

    • alex ramirez alex ramirez August 10, 2011

      looks like he’s come down with jhon & ken vapores

  2. Dr. Zillman Dr. Zillman August 10, 2011

    He’ll retire now with 50% of his salary tax-free. What a system. And so many wonder why there is such disdain for public sector workers.

    • keepdapeace keepdapeace August 11, 2011

      Guess again. He has been a cop for 30 years. He could retire with as much as 90% of his salary.

  3. Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski Post author | August 10, 2011

    Thanks for the comments and to the Voice of OC for crediting us with breaking the story; I’ve been out for a while getting a doctor’s note for a mysterious ailment.

    • keepdapeace keepdapeace August 11, 2011

      Are we going to have to put you on medical leave and evntually pension you out at 90% of the salary you draw at the Lib?

  4. keepdapeace keepdapeace August 11, 2011

    This move was not unexpected. It was obvious, watching Sellers at the council meetings, that he was not doing well with the stress. His inaction in the beginning of this mess may have been due to attempting to cover up for wayward officers or just general apathy. But, at some point, the heat was on and he started feeling it.

    Medical leave only goes so far in protection. What is more likely to protect Sellers is the two retired fart cops that sit on the council. They have, so far, proven that the city was better off without them being cops. Too bad they have to suffer with them being poor councilmen.

    Of course, that could change with Fullerton following in Tustin’s footsteps…

  5. Cynthia Ward Cynthia Ward August 11, 2011

    Yeah, this may save his sorry hide from being fired, but I do not think it saves him from a civil suit by the family, nor will it keep criminal charges from being filed if it turns out he tried to cover for his boys in blue. He can run for a little bit, but sooner or later he needs to answer for the environment in his department.

  6. GustavoAreNOTTO GustavoAreNOTTO August 11, 2011

    so how did you guys beat OC Weakly to this story by more than 2 hours?

  7. Dan Chmielewski Dan Chmielewski August 11, 2011

    we got a tip

  8. keepdapeace keepdapeace August 12, 2011

    Because, regardless of what Gustavo thinks, more people like the Lib that OCW. That could change if they would sell a rag that has more news than ads for massage parlors and medical marijuana shops.

    But, I digress….

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