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Fullerton police chief retires after medical leave

Fullerton Police Chief Michael Sellers

February 3, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
Fullerton Police Chief Michael Sellers, who went on medical leave after a homeless man died in a violent confrontation with officers, is retiring.

Police Capt. Dan Hughes, a 28-year veteran of the department, will serve as acting chief until a decision is made on a permanent replacement, according to the city of Fullerton. Sellers, who became Fullerton's chief in May 2009, has been on medical leave since Aug. 9, 2011. The announcement of his retirement coincides with resolution of Sellers' workers' compensation claim.

Sellers went on leave at the height of the public outcry over the death of Kelly Thomas, a homeless man with schizophrenia.

Two officers have since been charged in Thomas's death.

Sellers will be paid $127,500 in a compensation settlement, as well as $22,500 in legal fees. The settlement relieves the city of Fullerton from future responsibility for medical costs related to the claim, according to the city of Fullerton.

Sellers will be eligible for an industrial disability retirement based on findings from his doctor, as well as from the city's doctor, who determined Sellers is disabled from performing his job as Fullerton's police chief

His retirement will be effective February 18.