McFarland city officials not commenting on police chief's status

McFarland city officials not commenting on police chief's status »Play Video
McFarland Police Chief Greg Herrington is seen in an Eyewitness News file photo.

McFARLAND, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — Police Chief Greg Herrington was reportedly put on administrative leave Thursday morning, but city leaders are being tight lipped about Herrington's status.

City officials are not refuting that Herrington is gone.

McFarland Mayor Manuel Cantu said Herrington met with city manager John Wooner Thursday morning. Several sources tell Eyewitness News Herrington was placed on leave, and he left the police department that morning.

Cantu said he could not confirm if Wooner placed Herrington on leave and could not comment on Herrington's status.

Since the city re-established its police department in 2009, the new department has had four acting or permanent police chiefs.  But, its been plagued with problems from the beginning. As Eyewitness News has previously reported, Herrington was appointed chief in 2011, despite being fired from two previous police departments. 

In September 2013, a former female police department employee filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Herrington and city of McFarland. A trial date is set for 2015 in Kern County Superior Court.

Calls made to Herrington's cellphone were not answered, going to voice mail.

Eyewitness News made several calls to Herrington, but so far none have been returned.

Wooner has also refused to comment on Herrington's status. On Thursday, an office employee said Wooner was not speaking with any media. On Friday, Eyewitness News was told Wooner was unavailable. Calls and email messages sent to Wooner have not been returned.

McFarland city attorney Thomas Schroeter also said he could not comment on the status of the police chief.