Fullerton Police Chief Retires With $150K Settlement

Chief Michael Sellers was in charge of department during Kelly Thomas beating

The former Fullerton police chief who went on extended medical leave in August during the height of the Kelly Thomas controversy is retiring and will leave the department with a six-figure settlement.

More: Timeline of Events | Special Section: The Kelly Thomas Case

Michael Sellers will receive $127,500 plus $22,500 in legal fees stemming from a workers' compensation claim, the city of Fullerton announced Friday. The settlement relieves Fullerton from any future responsibility for medical costs, according to a statement from the city.

Sellers, who has been on leave since Aug. 9, will retire on Feb. 18.

"Chief Sellers' treating doctor and an independent doctor both said he was unable to return to work at his job, and the settlement ended any potential liability for future medical treatment costs, which could be significant," said William McCormick, the attorney who represented the City of Fullerton in the claim.

McCormick and a city spokesperson would not comment on the details surrounding the medical claim.

Sellers' medical leave began about a month after Kelly Thomas, a 37-year-old homeless man who suffered from schizophrenia, was beaten by Fullerton police officers. Thomas died five days after the altercation.

Two of the officers involved in the beating were charged.

Officer Manuel Ramos faces charges of second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter. Officer Jay Cicinell was charged with involuntary manslaughter and excessive force.

Dan Hughes will continue to serve as interim police chief until a replacement can be found.

"We will be reviewing our options with the Council in the coming months and will determine the best course for the city in finding a replacement," Fullerton City Manager Joe Felz said in a statment.

Follow NBCLA for the latest LA news, events and entertainment: Twitter: @NBCLA // Facebook: NBCLA

Contact Us