Sandra Emerson, Staff Writer
Created: 09/13/2011 05:25:02 PM PDT

UPLAND – Police Chief Steve Adams’ retirement should be official by the end of the week, and Capt. Jeff Mendenhall will take the reins.

Adams, who has been on sick leave since December, will end his 30-year career with the Police Department due to a heart condition.

City Manager Stephen Dunn said he would appoint Mendenhall to be chief. Mendenhall, who has worked for the Police Department for 29 years, has filled in for Adams while he was on sick leave.

The City Council approved Adams’ claim for medical retirement on Monday.

“This is a bittersweet moment for Chief Adams,” said Stephen Larson, Adams’ attorney. “On the one hand, he greatly appreciates the support of the Upland City Council as reflected in (Monday’s) vote. On the other hand, Chief Adams will deeply miss working with the brave men and women of the Upland Police Department and serving the community of Upland.”

Adams’ attorney and the city are still working out details, but Dunn said Adams’ retirement should be official by the end of the week.

Dunn said he would make public the amount of the city’s payout to Adams.

Adams, 47, was paid more than $229,000 in salary last fiscal year, according to city records.

Mayor Ray Musser said the council made the right decision.

“We gave him, I think, the best solution from a city standpoint. It’s now a matter of a workers’ (compensation) situation,” Musser said. “We gave him no bonuses to leave or anything like that. It was a pure termination, and I personally feel bad that he is gone, but at the same time we as a city need to move on and protect the citizens and have a new person in charge.”

Councilman Gino Filippi said he is mostly concerned about the potential cost to the city.

“I am most concerned about the cost of the total payoff for the chief. I have unanswered questions and concerns, which I shared with the city manager,” he said. “I understand we will have the information by the end of the week.”

Dunn hired a private investigation firm to investigate two allegations made against Adams over the past several months.

The investigations will not be made public because they involve investigatory and personnel matters, City Attorney William Curley said in an email.

Dunn and Musser, too, said they could not share copies of the report.

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