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Haskell Police Chief resigns 'involuntarily'

By Michelle Frizalone, mfrizalone@ktxs.com
Published On: Feb 22 2013 08:16:20 PM CST
haskell police chief
HASKELL, Texas -

Haskell Police Chief Richard Candelaria was forced to resign "involuntarily" on Friday.     

The Haskell City Council met in executive session for hours Friday morning in a special meeting to discuss and review Candelaria's performance.

Candelaria's attorney walked in and out of the room during the executive session trying to negotiate the outcome with the Haskell city attorney.

Many people were confused as to why the City of Haskell wanted to oust their police chief and unfortunately, the answer is still unclear.     

"It doesn't look good," Haskell ISD School Superintendent Bill Alcorn said. "We've been here since 7a.m."

At least three dozen people turned out at city hall to support Chief Richard Candelaria while the mayor, city manager, city attorney and council members were in executive session discussing the chief's employment.
 
"Decisions are being made that {we} can't probably come back from and here we are waiting, all morning to know what's going on," Haskell resident Pam Norton said.

After deliberating for hours inside the Haskell City Hall, city council members finally accepted the resignation from Candelaria.

"We did resign, but we resigned involuntarily and so we're disappointed at the end result and what the end result was," Payne said.

Shortly before Candelaria's resignation Payne said, "I think the city council has put administrative issues before the safety of the public."

"Let me be very clear," Payne said. "There are absolutely zero complaints of ethical violations. There were zero complaints of improper actions. This was all administrative in nature as there complaints that they didn't feel he was doing certain things appropriately."

So why did the city press Candelaria for his resignation? They refused to give us specifics, but some residents are still left with unanswered questions.

"It's just the way things played out," Candelaria said. "I would like more openness."

No word yet on when a new police chief will be appointed.