The number of former Scottsdale command staff that have left Scottsdale to take leadership positions within other agencies, that were fired or forced to resign continues to grow. As I said before, how leadership at Scottsdale PD was allowed to treat employees is not normal. It would probably also get you fired elsewhere. So, it’s no shock that when people leave Scottsdale and bring their leadership philosophy to another organization, it seems not to end too well.
There were two people in leadership positions at Scottsdale that stand out in terms of treating people below them horribly. Those two were Carrie Candler and Steve Gesell.
I talked about Carrie Candler before. She would go on to work for Gilbert PD, lose her job and then sue the organization. There is plenty of documentation and news stories about her tumultuous time at Gilbert.
I have also talked about Steve Gesell. He was a guy that was so narcissistic he started IA investigations on subordinates for not acknowledging him in a proper manner while passing each other in a hallway. This was so frequent, that officers coined a term describing how you had to treat him. It was referred to as “Kissing the Pope’s Ring”. After leaving Scottsdale, he would go on to be a Chief in California, before losing his job because of improprieties surrounding the use of city travel funds for his family.
After California he would go on to get hired by the former Scottsdale Chief, Bartosh, who was now City Manager in Cottonwood, AZ. Looks like Bartosh protected him in Cottonwood like he seemed to do at Scottsdale. Well, when he left and a new City Manager was about to come in, he lost that protection.
Seems like Gesell’s was not going to be allowed to treat employees like sh*t anymore. After an extended investigation, it was found that “that Gesell’s conduct at a May meeting violated city policies as set out in Section 8 of the city of Cottonwood’s employee manual, including insubordination and violations of the CPD’s policy manual.” Basically he threw a temper tantrum after a City Council meeting.
His tantrum stemmed from an investigation where three females at Cottonwood alleged they were discriminated against and one “alleged that she was subjected to different terms and conditions of employment and a hostile work environment because of her sex.”
During the investigation, Gesell said he was concerned one of the females had mental health concerns because females are “emotional”. He said that female supervisors base decisions on “relationships rather than more pragmatic approaches … [or] logical outcomes”, pointing out that one “broke down in a meeting emotionally” and that another female employee was an “emotionally driven person.” As a result of this behavior, they were demoted, had pay reductions and moved back to Patrol duty.
Guess if you don’t think like our friend Steve, you don’t deserve to be promoted, be a detective or get paid. Maybe you should learn how to manage people that don’t think exactly like you. Use their strengths and help them improve their limiters.
Sounds like a perfect person for office. Oh yea, he ran for office and after a couple of months, mysteriously dropping out of the race. Wonder what that was all about.
It’s kind of ironic that Stevie thought that this investigation was without merit and “raised [his] concern significantly that this was a malicious, opportunistic attempt to defame me or discredit me before the new city manager arrived.” This guy has spent his whole career, which I saw firsthand at Scottsdale, defaming, discrediting, demoting and opening investigations on people that “didn’t kiss the Pope’s ring”. Kind of sucks when it happens to you, hey Stevie?
Here is the news report about his termination.
Because he is a crazy narcissist, I’m sure he will seek a leadership position at another police agency. And because our profession seems to “pass the lemons”, he’ll get hired . . . again, and fired . . . again.
Way to go Stevie, errrr sorry, former Chief Gesell.