Fullerton Mayor: “I Am Not Resigning”

The mayor and Ron Thomas met a day after a contentious city council meeting

Fullerton Mayor Richard Jones denied reports Wednesday evening that he was resigning.

"Reports that I am considering resigning my position as mayor of the City of Fullerton are erroneous," he wrote in a statement released by the city.

Case Timeline

"I am not resigning. There is much work left to be done in our great city," he wrote.

Earlier in the day, Jones met one-on-one with Ron Thomas, whose son died after an altercation with six police officers.

Thomas told NBC4 that he had a "good meeting" with the mayor. After the meeting, the two encountered each other in the parking lot.

As Jones was about to leave, he stopped his SUV to shake Thomas' hand.

"I want to tell you, we've had a very good conversation," said Jones. "I think a lot of understanding of what kind of people we are."

About 12 hours earlier, Thomas spoke passionately during the public comments period of the council meeting: "Mr. Mayor, I came here tonight to offer you an olive branch. But the first thing you did was open your mouth and I want to grab a baseball bat, instead. I swear to God."

He was one of many speakers to express anger over a case that has placed pressure on city officials and led to Wednesday's approval of a contract with an indepdent consultant. Michael Gennaco, chief attorney for the office, said he will try to examine the facts in a way that might not be possible right now in Fullerton.

Kelly Thomas, 37, died five days after the altercation with Fullerton police at a transit station. Officers were responding to reports of break-ins at the center.

The six officers involved in Thomas' arrest are on administrative leave. The city's police chief announced last week that he would be taking a medical leave.


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Wednesday, after his meeting with Thomas, Mayor Richard Jones, who is a retired plastic surgeon, described himself as a man of compassion.

"I think there's going to be some actions that will be required. I don't know what they will be because I'm not privy to the information," he said.

The lack of direct knowledge of the police department was a recurring theme.

When asked whether city hall was insulated from the police department, Mayor Jones admitted, "Maybe I am."

Thomas for his part now believes the mayor is deeply concerned about the incident that claimed his son's life.

"He is deeply concerned about my son and he absolutely wants to kno the truth," said Thomas right after his meeting with Jones.

Nevertheless, Thomas said he still wants the mayor to step down.

Jones said he was not going to resign, adding "there's a job that needs to be done."

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