Serving the community since 1922

Chief Zimmerman still off on worker's comp claim

No details or return date from city

It has been over five months since Acting Chief Randy Milligan stepped up to run the Shafter Police Department, with Chief Kevin Zimmerman away from the department.. The force has been operating "business as usual," according to Milligan, with everyone stepping in and doing their part.

When asked three months ago about the change and some public concerns over the loss of employees with the launching of Wasco's new Police Department, Milligan said that the city had hired new officers, as well as dispatchers, so the concern was unnecessary.

It was left unanswered then, and now, why Zimmerman was out of action, pr any timetable when he is expected to return.

At the time, The Shafter Press was directed to City Manager Gabriel Gonzales, who said that Zimmermann had been placed on leave, and "it was a worker comp situation." As a p[ersonnel matter, he said he would not provide any further details

Asked for comment at the time, Shafter Mayor Chad Givens told The Shafter Press, "Chief Zimmermann is not on administrative leave for doing something wrong, and he is not on leave from council wanting to do anything to him." Givens went on to say that his leave was a personal situation, and that he could not say anymore, referring the reporter to City Manager Gonzales.

The Shafter Press has filed a Freedom of Information Act request to get further information on the situation. When notified of this action, Gonzales commented, "Anyone who wants to can file a Freedom of Information Act request, and at that time, we will address the request."

He went on to say that he had previously informed the paper that Zimmermann is out on "a medical workmans compensation leave." "Due to HIPPA restrictions, the city is prohibited from releasing information about his status. Furthermore, sworn law enforcement personnel are entitled to one year [off under] the Worker's Compensation Act, Labor Code section 4850. We will keep the public updated on this situation as information becomes available."

 

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