Manteca city officials, including police chief, suddenly placed on leave

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Update: The Office of the City Manager sent FOX40 a statement regarding the recent "staffing adjustments," saying the city manager, the finance director and the police chief are being investigated:

MANTECA, Calif. (KTXL) -- One person was fired and three other top city Manteca officials’ jobs are now on the line, including the police chief.

The police chief, the public works director, the city manager and the finance director have all helped lead the city of Manteca.

However, Public Works Director Mark Houghton has been fired and the rest are all on administrative leave.

A five-page document citing grievances and issues against Police Chief Jodie Estarziau had been sent to City Council, prompting an investigation.

“And so, obviously, that is something that merits some looking into,” said political consultant Lee Neves.

Neves said from what he understands, each issue with each official is a separate matter.

“They just happened at the same time, which is almost like the perfect storm,” he said.

It’s a move Neves said the city now needs to address.

“'Here’s the three that were put on leave. Here’s why we did it.' Kind of reassure the voters and reassure those who do business with Manteca that everything is under control,” Neves told FOX40.

Former Mayor Steve DeBrum said he’s concerned about this latest shake-up.

“I find it a little bit disconcerting as a citizen and as a past mayor in the community,” he said.

It’s a "perfect storm" Neves and DeBrum said the city needs to clear away to allay any fears Manteca families may have.

“It is alarming and that, certainly, we’ve got to get to the bottom of it,” DeBrum said.

The city is set to discuss the issue behind closed doors at Thursday night’s meeting.

FOX40 also reached out to the Manteca Police Officers Association. They had no comment and the police department deferred FOX40 to the city manager.

The acting city manager refused to comment on-camera, saying this is a personnel matter.

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