The Ventura County District Attorney’s office says it will not pursue criminal charges against Santa Paula’s former police chief. The City fired Stephen MacKinnon amid allegations that he had used a city vehicle, fuel, and paid time for some trips to Arizona.
MacKinnon denied the charges, saying that the use of a vehicle had been approved as a part of his hiring, which prosecutors say was documented in his letter of employment.
In a statement, DA Greg Totten says there’s insufficient evidence to prove the allegations beyond a reasonable doubt. He also says there is no evidence to show he wasn’t doing police related work on specific days.
The DA says the City was appropriate in referring their concerns to his office for review, and that his decision to drop the matter isn’t an opinion on the city’s ability to act on administrative, or personnel aspects of the manner.
The issue was a hot one in Santa Paula, where the chief was popular with citizens for reducing crime, and with his officers for improving morale.