Several top leaders in the Bay Area’s sixth largest city have been put on leave in the recent past, which have many questioning: What’s going on in Hayward?
The most recent, and mysterious, was announced Monday night: Police Chief Diane Stuart, who used to be a top ranking cop in San Jose, was placed on indefinite leave pending a personnel investigation. When she was hired in 2011, Stuart was selected as the 13th chief of the Hayward Police Department, the first woman to lead the force. She used to go by the surname Urban.
The city manager and mayor on Tuesday remained tight-lipped about the sudden news, citing confidentiality. And Sgt. Rick Cantell told the media that Capt. Mark Koller was appointed interim chief.
Hayward Unified School District trustee Luis Reynoso said Stuart being placed on leave is the latest example of the city's failed leadership.
"Not only is the house broken, but the house needs a lot of cleaning," Reynoso said.
In June, Hayward Superintendent of Schools Stan "Data" Dobbs was placed on paid administrative leave June while the school board investigated a number alleged wrongdoings, including allowing former 49ers’ linebacker Ray McDonald, who has been accused of domestic violence and sexual assault, to visit students. As of Tuesday, Matt Wayne was serving as acting superintendent, according to the office.
And in August 2015, Hayward Fire Chief Garret Contreras nearly lost his job after an investigation found he had been drinking on the job and operating city equipment. The city manager ultimately allowed Contreras to remain as his post if he cleaned up his act and took a pay cut. He also was suspended for one month that year.