A former Baldwin Park police chief who was fired in 2017 — just 49 days after he was hired — will receive a $4.9 million settlement to resolve a lawsuit against the city alleging he was discriminated against, harassed and then fired for investigating and reporting what he believed to be unlawful conduct within the department and city hall.
Baldwin Park’s now-former insurance provider, the Independent Cities Risk Management Authority, authorized the payment to former Chief David Salcedo earlier this month. Under the terms, the authority will pay the bulk of the settlement, roughly $4.8 million, while Baldwin Park is expected to pay the remaining $100,000 out of pocket to cover lost wages, according to Mayor Emmanuel Estrada, who was first elected in 2020.
In an interview, Estrada, who campaigned on ending costly litigation, expressed frustration with the high payout. The settlement amounts to about $100,000 for each day that Salcedo worked, East Bay Times reports.
In the lawsuit filed in September 2017, Salcedo alleged his firing came after he refused requests from then-Councilman Ricardo Pacheco to “fix” a ticket, to tow a truck that was legally parked, to leave no-parking signs up in violation of city code, and to send a patrol car to investigate a vacant house on Pacheco’s street. Salcedo allegedly reported his concerns to the mayor, city manager and city attorney.
Salcedo was just one of eight police chiefs who served Baldwin Park during a particularly tumultuous seven-year period. Three were fired and four stepped in temporarily as chiefs because of the firings. One retired.
All three fired chiefs sued, including Salcedo, former Chief Lili Hadsell and former Chief Steve McLean, whose case is still pending.