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After Being Placed on Leave, Santa Maria Police Chief Retires

Controversy had dogged Danny Macagni during his nine years heading the department

Two days after being placed on administrative leave as a result of an undisclosed personnel matter, Danny Macagni on Friday retired as Santa Maria’s police chief.

In a terse statement that made no mention of the administrative leave, City Manager Rick Haydon announced Macagni’s retirement, which was effective immediately.

“On behalf of the City of Santa Maria, we would like to extend our thanks to Chief Macagni for his years of service to the city, the Police Department and the Santa Maria community, and we wish him the very best in his retirement,” Haydon said in a news release issued by the city.

Police Cmdr. Craig Ritz, who was tapped to run the department during Macagni’s leave, will remain in charge, Haydon said.

Macagni has been the focus of considerable controversy during his tenure, including conflicts with some members of the city’s police union, which recently issued a no-confidence vote against him.

He had served as chief since 2003, and had been affiliated with the Police Department since 1975. Macagni spent two years as a reserve police officer, before being hired full time in 1977. He received several promotions over the years, and was appointed police chief by then-City Manager Tim Ness.

Macagni did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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