The City of Vallejo has signed a $100,000 consulting agreement with former Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn, whose tenure included the fatal shootings of Stephon Clark and Darell Richards.
Vallejo Police Chief Shawny Williams has reached an agreement with the City of Vallejo for his resignation, closing out a tumultuous two weeks that also saw an incoming deputy chief withdraw before his first day of work, Open Vallejo has learned.
The city and Williams finalized the terms of the separation agreement within the last 10 days, according to sources with knowledge of the matter. Those terms, including any severance amount, have yet to be disclosed. The city is expected to issue a statement announcing Williams’ departure later today. Neither Williams nor a spokesperson for the city immediately responded to requests for comment.
The sources who spoke with Open Vallejo on condition of anonymity did so because they were not authorized to discuss internal police personnel matters or contract negotiations.
As officials planned for Williams’ departure, the city signed a one-year, $100,000 consulting agreement with former Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn, records obtained by Open Vallejo show. Under Hahn’s leadership, Sacramento police engaged in 16 shootings, including the killings of Stephon Clark and Darell Richards. Hahn will serve as an advisor to the city manager, Mike Malone, and to the next chief of police, though it remains unclear who that will be.
Hahn did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The contract requires that Hahn provide “leadership coaching” to police staff as well as “planning support” for implementing several police reforms overseen by the California Department of Justice.
Williams’ departure comes amid an ongoing review by the California DOJ, which intervened in Vallejo following the fatal shooting of 22-year-old Sean Monterrosa, who was unarmed. Three days after the killing, the state DOJ announced a three-year collaborative review of the department’s policies and practices, citing concerns over the “number and nature” of police shootings in Vallejo.
Appointed in November 2019, Williams set out to reform the troubled department, which is one of the most violent law enforcement agencies in California, according to the Police Scorecard, a national police practices database. Williams, the first Black chief in the department’s 122-year history, also worked to diversify Vallejo’s mostly-white department, which serves one of the most diverse cities in the country. He served as police chief for less than three years.
Last November, Open Vallejo revealed that Lt. Herman Robinson, who Williams terminated in April of last year and later reinstated, had filed a legal claim alleging that Williams had made false statements under oath during a disciplinary hearing related to the lieutenant’s firing. Robinson argued that Williams displayed “retaliatory intention and willingness to engage in wrongful conduct,” the claim read. Robinson is the department’s longest-serving policeman and the son of its very first Black officer.
The following month, in December, Open Vallejo exposed how Williams circumvented department policy when he took custody of a drone that had captured the Monterrosa shooting. When the chief gave the drone to a detective a few hours later, the detective found the video file had been permanently overwritten with zeros.
Throughout his tenure, Williams faced robust opposition from the Vallejo Police Officers’ Association, who blamed him for a series of high-profile firings and other departures that separated more than 40 officers from the agency since Williams took its helm, exacerbating staffing challenges that have plagued the department since the city’s 2008 bankruptcy.
The union declined to comment for this story.
The union also blamed Williams for a lack of progress on the 45 reforms endorsed by the California DOJ. Deputy Police Chief Jason Ta is expected to run the department while officials search for Williams’ successor, sources said.