Did Bishop City Council “Diss” the Current Interim Police Chief?

Did the Bishop City Council “Diss” the current Interim Police Chief, Josh Ellsworth, when it announced its intentions to offer the job to an “Outsider?”

At the last Bishop City Council meeting, in a letter sent by Bishop Sgt. Dan Nolan, a 20-year police department veteran, the Council’s decision to offer the currently position, opened by the retirement of former Police Chief Ted Stec in November 2020, to an “outsider,” was called a “slap in the face” to the police department’s patrol officers and acting Police Chief Josh Ellsworth. But is it? Why when many, if not most of Bishop’s cops, including Ellsworth, came from other law police agencies themselves? How is this any different?

Apparently, Nolan’s position is that it should be the Police department itself making the decision, citing the support of the Bishop Police Officers Association. Civilian control of our government, whether at the federal, state, or local level, is a vital aspect of democratic governance. It is so in this instance.

Bishop Police Chief since November 2020, Josh Ellsworth, has done an exemplary job, but does that mean he is “owed” the position?

While Interim Chief Josh Ellsworth’s tenure leading the department during the search for a replacement has been exemplary, it was the City Council’s decision to make, and they made it, according to Mayor Stephen Muchovej, noting that they were elected to make just such a decision, and that decision was “unanimous.”

The fact is, the position of a police chief is not a popularity contest, especially among officers of a department, or for that matter by current or former local law enforcement officers. While their views are as important as everyone else’s, and should be heard, it is not their call to make. Nor should it ever be.

The candidate chosen by the city, Lt. Richard Standridge, appears to have excellent bona fides having spent 20 years with the City of Porterville Police Department. He also has experience with investigations and is currently serving as the lieutenant with Porterville’s Investigations Division. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in business and is near completion of his master’s degree in justice management from the University of Nevada Reno. And an important consideration, he is also a graduate of POST Command College, a 14-month program designed to prepare law enforcement leaders of today for the challenges of the future.

Bishop City Mayor, Steven Muchovej, stated that the selection of the Chief of Police is for the City Council to decide.

Standridge is clearly very qualified for the position. So, one might well ask, “How is questioning his selection not a “slap in his face” by Nolan, and by extension the officers whose views he says he represents in the department? Or does Standridge feelings and qualifications not matter because he is not “a local” and not known or personally endorsed by Nolan? And has Nolan’s comments possibly “poisoned the well” and atmosphere at the police department for the potentially new police chief, should he accept the job? If he does, he should be given the same opportunity, respect, and consideration that we have given all of our police chiefs, past and present, both from the existing ranks and from the “outside.”

The city council members could not respond to Nolan’s comments under the state’s rules and regulations in conducting public meetings. For discussion, an item must be on the agenda.

Listeners and viewers can watch Tuesday’s City Council Special Meeting on Wednesday, May 19, 2021, online at  City Council Special Meeting – May 19th, 2021 (granicus.com).

Video of May 24, 2021 City Council Meeting.

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Bishopite
Bishopite
1 year ago

Russoloco, have you personally seen the pictures you reference? How is that even relevant to the letter? A letter written by someone’s opinion? I’m seriously not understanding the mud slinging going on here. Freedom of speech, right? Why the personal attacks?

Michael
Michael
1 year ago

Russoloco… yes, I would agree that it was a bad idea on Nolan’s part to send a **** pic to his female coworker while they were both on duty from his agency-issued cell phone. Seems as though his supporters want everyone to forget about this. Calling it a “mistake”… one… Read more »

Bishopite
Bishopite
1 year ago
Reply to  Michael

Once again Michael, you seem to have a personal issue with Sergeant Nolan. He was just voicing his concern over Lieutenant Ellsworth being passed over when he was clearly doing a great job. Am I missing something here? I’m not sure what you’re trying to succeed by flogging Nolan’s character.… Read more »

Michael
Michael
1 year ago
Reply to  Bishopite

Bishopite… Yes, you nailed it. I am a former law enforcement officer (LEO). I am a former LEO that holds LEOs to a higher standard.. a moral and an ethical standard that Danny has repeatedly failed to meet. I have no quarrel with Lt. Ellsworth… it is possible that he… Read more »

Low
Low
1 year ago

Wouldn’t have been a bad choice to pick Ellsworth but bringing in an outsider was the right move. People in high level positions like Chief are the first to get fired if there’s an issue. If you look at any government organizations, the top person always lasts about 3-6 years… Read more »

InyoArabians
InyoArabians
1 year ago

Who exactly does Dan Nolan think he is? In what other profession do *employees* get to chose their boss? If he doesn’t like it, he can quit. The entitlement on display is just astounding.

Bishopite
Bishopite
1 year ago
Reply to  InyoArabians

InyoArabians, I never got the feeling he was trying to chose the boss. Only voicing his opinion on the matter.

Sam
Sam
1 year ago

Spot on, Bishopite.

Wade Wilson
Wade Wilson
1 year ago

Wrong, right or indifferent, a small department regardless of what “Charles KNOW IT ALL James” says should have some input and influence on who the leader of the department will be. If City Council, (yes, plenty of the same members who were involved and turned a blind eye to the… Read more »

Don't spread rumors.
Don't spread rumors.
1 year ago
Reply to  Wade Wilson

Stec was involved in this selection? Where did you see that? Or are you just making that up?

Frankly speaking...
Frankly speaking...
1 year ago
Reply to  Wade Wilson

Frankly, it seems to me that James did in fact acknowledge the officers right to express their opinion, or did you just conveniently decide to skip or ignore that part of the article. He noted that the selection process “was not based on popularity contest”, and that “officers of a… Read more »

Good Ole Boy?
Good Ole Boy?
1 year ago

I’d be willing to bet that Nolan was promised the position of lieutenant if his buddy became chief. and now he’s pissed that he won’t be getting it. good on the city council for not buying into the “good ole boy” network.

ARB
ARB
1 year ago

Welcome to Bishop, Chief Standridge, welcome to Bishop.

BobK
BobK
1 year ago

So Michael: How is the department “troubled” at this time?

Michael
Michael
1 year ago

It is amazing that Danny Nolan feels he is entitled to have any influence in the selection of the new Chief of Police (COP). The Bishop Police Department has been riddled with problems for years, in large part because of Danny and former COP Carter. In fact, Danny was groomed… Read more »

IP
IP
1 year ago
Reply to  Michael

Michael- I agree. I am not sure what Danny is thinking here… Given his conduct, I am amazed he still has a job, let alone was repromoted to Sgt.

Michael
Michael
1 year ago
Reply to  IP

To the individual that suggested I was the Officer that was “forced to retire”… no, I’m not him (or her). I am only replying because “IP” informed everyone that Danny was repromoted to sergeant… what?! How can someone who disgraced the department so publicly be promoted? This is what is… Read more »

Bishopite
Bishopite
1 year ago
Reply to  Michael

Michael, you have a personal vendetta against Nolan? You seem to have intimate knowledge of his past. Why should he have been fired years ago? One would think if he should have been, he would have been. No agency is going to hold onto a “liability” as you stated. Are… Read more »

Russoloco
Russoloco
1 year ago
Reply to  Bishopite

Maybe Nolan shouldn’t have sent **** (edit) pics to his mistress on a City of Bishop phone? He then got magically promoted.

BobK
BobK
1 year ago
Reply to  Michael

Michael. Thank you for the reply and explanation. That’s something that doesn’t happen much any more…BobK