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San Francisco Police Chief Out in Latest Ouster by Mayor

March 31, 1992

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Mayor Frank Jordan fired Police Chief Willis Casey, the man he once appointed assistant chief, in the latest shakeup in the troubled 3-month-old administration.

In a move that stunned City Hall and the rank-and-file, Jordan on Monday picked his former political rival, assessor Richard Hongisto, to succeed Casey. Hongisto, a former police officer and sheriff, was an also-ran for mayor in November.

″Today’s nomination of a new police chief is the beginning of a new day for San Francisco,″ Jordan said, reading from prepared remarks at a City Hall news conference on Monday.

″It signals a transition from a time of ever-bigger city government to one where government will be small, and I am determined, more effective.″

Casey, who was appointed police chief by former Mayor Art Agnos to replace Jordan in November 1990, was notified of his dismissal Monday morning in the mayor’s office.

″It was not bitter, angry,″ Casey said. ″There was nothing like that at all. He’s a former police chief and we’re both professional and we discussed it on a professional level,″

The police commission will meet Wednesday to decide whether to confirm Hongisto, who started his law enforcement career as an officer in the city’s police department in the 1960s.

Also Monday, former Jordan press secretary Stephen Bloom, fired after only 70 days on the job, filed a claim against the city. The claim alleges fraud and misrepresentation and seeks more than $50,000 for lost wages and punitive damages, said Bloom’s lawyer, Pam Sayad.

Jordan has also created controversy by attempting to oust Robin Eickman as director of the film commission, which oversees movie production in the city.

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