The City of Orange Cove isn't saying why the chief of police was placed on leave Tuesday. Frank Steenport's attorney says a documented infraction isn't the real reason.
After the new city council was elected, Frank Steenport told his department that hard times could be ahead. He even predicted that he would lose his job.
Victor Lopez and three councilmembers took their seats in December. Lopez disbanded the police department in 1989.
The city councilman and the chief of police have had many public disputes. Frank Steenport said the council's promise of departmental reforms would make life for police more difficult.
Take-home cars were cut. City officials began taking a more active role in the department, and encouraged citizens to report misconduct.
Councilmembers have repeatedly stated that they support the police force. At the same time, they say the city is short on cash and wants the department to foster better relationships with the community.
The Orange Cove Police Department has half as many officers as it used to. Most of those loses came when officers started transferring to other cities.
Steenport's attorney says city leaders are trying to bolster their case against Steenport. They'll have one year to make the argument, or allow the chief to resume his post.