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Guadalupe Public Safety Director candidate plagued with controversy

Controversy is brewing in Guadalupe over the potential candidate tapped for Public Safety Director.

After last-minute agenda changes and a nearly 2.5-hour closed-door session at Tuesday’s City Council Meeting, questions remain.

After keeping our cameras at bay for close to three hours, Guadalupe City Councilors emerged just before 9:00 p.m.

Mayor John Lizalde offered “no comment” when asked what happened.

Council Member Ariston Julian and City Manager Philip Sinco both confirm that “no reportable action was taken” so that means, the appointment of Michael Cash is still under discussion.

After close to 40 years in law enforcement, Gary Hoving is hanging up his hat, after bringing some much-needed stability to the Police and Fire Departments after George Mitchell’s Tenure.

The new chief finalist previously led the Southwestern College Police Department, but The Southwestern College Sun has published a laundry list of damning articles pointing to a very checkered past.

Michael Cash is accused of covering up sexual assaults, misuse of police funds by hiring friends and inaccurate crime log reporting.

Another incident reported by The Sun and the San Diego Union Tribune accuse Cash of firing his duty weapon in the police locker room, sending a bullet through a wall into a room with people in it.

Needless to say, public comment got heated.

“Where there’s smoke, there’s fire, and I think that your due diligence has to be extremely careful because it is a very important decision for this community,” said Frances Romero.

“To put the position of a chief in the hands of this man to represent, and I’ll say it, a Latino community, is embarrassing,” said another Guadalupe resident at the podium.

The council received some backlash from the community after Gina Rubalcaba posted on Facebook that newspaper articles were not factual news.

Guadalupe was initially prepared to offer Cash a two-year contract with an annual salary of $98,000.

We wanted to ask city officials what the vetting and background check process was like for this position and if they were made aware of the allegations against Cash but we were never given the opportunity.

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