SAN DIEGO - The San Diego City Council was scheduled to meet on Wednesday to discuss the future employment of Police Chief Richard Nava. However, the council did not have a quorum to actually hold the meeting, leaving Nava in suspension.
Three council members did not show up to the meeting; one member of the council had a recent death in the family, according to San Diego Mayor Sally Lichtenberger.
Nava was placed on suspension with pay on Feb. 26 by City Director/Manager Aleida Luera.
According to Nava's attorney, Celeste Robertson with Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas (CLEAT), Nava was investigating an assault at a local convenience store between two women that may have resulted in the death of an unborn child in December 2017.
Nava was in the process of the criminal investigation on the assault when one of the women filed a complaint against Nava that stated he was harassing her at work.
In Robertson's letter to the city, Nava is disputing the suspension for several reasons. One reason for the dispute is that Nava has never been in trouble while working with the SDPD.
According to city policy, "an employee will be counseled or reprimanded" at his or her first infraction; this is Nava's first "infraction" if any, according to Robertson. Instead of following the city's policy, Luera suspended him.
As far as Nava harassing the complainant, Robertson said that Nava was "disciplined for conducting a proper investigation" as the chief and an investigator and that "any possible civil liability of the City in this case could have arisen if the Chief failed to investigate a suspect's statement."
Also on the agenda was the discussion and possible action of a grievance that was filed against Luera by Nava and three other city employees on Feb. 22, which was delivered to the mayor.
According to Robertson's letter to the city, Nava filed two separate grievances, approximately June and July 2017, concerning Mayor Lichtenberger.
Nava and his attorney believe that it has been the goal of both Lichtenberger and Luera to terminate Nava.
Nava has worked in law enforcement for 24 years. He has been with the SDPD for approximately a year and a half, and was appointed interim chief after only being on the force for six months.
The meeting was rescheduled for Wednesday, March 21 at 7 p.m. at the San Diego City Hall.