TRACY -- The City of Tracy has confirmed the employment of Police Chief Larry Esquivel was terminated on Tuesday.
One face was missing from a crowd of smiling city leaders at a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Esquivel's firing has left some feeling troubled.
"We have politics that has plagued our city and as a result, we are really a city under siege is how I feel," said City Councilwoman Rhodesia Ransom.
"I’m deeply, deeply concerned of his termination," said City Councilwoman Nancy Young.
The City of Tracy announced Esquivel’s termination Wednesday morning. A spokeswoman would only say it is a personnel matter.
"Our leadership wants us to look at this as a personal matter but this is really a political matter in the City of Tracy and the citizens need to stand up," Ransom said.
Ransom says she had been worried for months that the acting city manager and other city leaders would fire the police chief.
"Council members, we still don’t have all the details about what’s happened with Chief Larry Esquivel but the writing has been on the wall for a very long time," Ransom said.
Young, who also helped organize a rally demanding answers for the move, says the chief has been a great asset to the community.
Esquivel was named the top cop two years ago. He told FOX40 at the time he retired from the San Jose Police Department with three years of experience as its police chief and more than 30 years of experience on the force.
Young and Ransom say he was beloved by many.
"He has been excellent for our community issues but the majority of our council have been vocally interrupting the work that he has done to move us forward," Ransom said.
The Tracy Police Officers Association also shared their disappointment, sharing in a message on their Facebook page that "Chief Esquivel had the full support of our membership."
Councilmembers are now questioning the motive behind the move and are even asking for the interim City Manager to step down.
The Tracy Police Officers' Association issued a statement after news of Esquivel's firing broke:
The Tracy Police Officers’ Association is extremely disappointed with the City of Tracy’s decision to fire Police Chief Larry Esquivel yesterday. Chief Esquivel had the full support of our membership. We encourage the citizens of Tracy who support the Tracy Police Officers’ Association and Chief Esquivel to attend the August 21st City Council meeting to share their thoughts with the City Council Members.
The meeting will be held at the Tracy City Hall, 333 Civic Center Plaza, inside City Council chambers. The meeting starts at 7:00 pm.
City Councilwoman Rhodesia Ransom posted a lengthy note on her Facebook page, accusing city leaders of firing Esquivel because of politics: