Assistant Police Chief Joe Mullins placed on leave in workplace violence investigation

Local News

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Assistant Bakersfield Police Chief Joe Mullins has been placed on administrative leave in connection with a workplace violence investigation.

According to an internal departmental memo received by KGET, Chief Greg Terry placed Mullins on leave Tuesday. The department’s other assistant chief, Evan Demestihas is also on administrative leave and under investigation in an unrelated incident.

The memo said on June 23, the department received anonymous emails that included informal complaints of workplace violence but provided few details. No formal criminal or administrative complaint was requested at that time, the department said.

On Tuesday, a formal request for an investigation was received regarding the same incident, and the investigation is currently being conducted, Terry said.

Mullins’ administrative leave is effective immediately, with all captains reporting to Terry, according to the department.

“All complaints involving our workplace are taken seriously and will be objectively and thoroughly investigated,” Terry said in the memo. “Furthermore, we abide by our policies that there will be no retaliation for reporting an allegation or participating in an investigative process.”

An administrative investigation is being conducted by a third party law firm, while a criminal investigation is being handled by the Kern County Sheriff’s Office.

That’s the case, too, with the other assistant chief, Demestihas, who is accused of domestic violence. That case is being reviewed by the Kings County District Attorney.

Any employee with information pertinent to the investigation is urged to call city Human Resources Director Christi Tenter at 661-326-3408.

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