Costa Mesa's former police chief confirmed in a recent interview that he was suspended and ultimately resigned from the city after an investigation found that he had charged gas for his personal vehicle on a city credit card.
"Bad judgment? Yes," said Chris Shawkey, 52. "I should've gone to the city manager and said, 'What do you want me to do?' and work it out that way. But that was really the only thing outside of my employment agreement."
Expense reports submitted to his department over his four years — he was hired in 2006 — show he charged hundreds of gallons of gas across California, Arizona and other states.
But that was all within his right, Shawkey said, pointing out that his employment agreement seemed to allow the practice.
That agreement granted the Arizona transplant a city-leased vehicle and unlimited mileage, but did not specify that he only could use the card or vehicle on city business, he said.