Fullerton City Manager Joe Felz today (Feb. 3) announced that Michael F. Sellers has informed the city that he will retire from his position as chief of the Fullerton Police Department.
The retirement will be effective Feb. 18.
Felz, who wished Sellers well, said the retirement will help the department and the city in the process of moving forward. He added no decision has been made as to a permanent replacement.
“We will be reviewing our options with the Council in the coming months and will determine the best course for the city in finding a replacement,” Felz said.
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.
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.
That resolution involves a payment of $127,500 to Sellers, plus $22,500 in legal fees. In addition, it relieves the city from any future responsibility for medical costs related to the claim.
William McCormick, the attorney who represented the City of Fullerton in the workers compensation claim, said he is pleased with the outcome of the case. “Chief Sellers’ treating doctor and an independent doctor both said he was unable to return to work at his job, and the settlement ended any potential liability for future medical treatment costs, which could be significant,” McCormick said.
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.
Sellers began his career in law enforcement in 1976 when he joined the La Palma Police Department. He left La Palma in 1995 for a captain’s position with the Los Alamitos Police Department. In 1997, he was made chief of the Seal Beach Police Department. He accepted the post of Laguna Beach chief of police in 2005.
He left Laguna Beach to become Fullerton’s chief of police.