Should Police Chief Mike Sellers Resign? (Opinion)

Should Police Chief Mike Sellers Resign?

By Robert Haugh

The Santa Clara Police Chief was in the spotlight last night — well, sort of. The 49ers said that Mike Sellers was responsible for enforcing the weeknight stadium curfew at the Coldplay concert.

But Sellers didn’t do anything to enforce the curfew. The Chief, who was at the stadium, stayed out of the public eye. He declined press interviews. And he wouldn’t answer curfew questions we emailed him prior to the concert.

Now, Mercury News columnist Scott Herhold is shining the light right in Sellers’ face. Herhold wrote on Wednesday that Sellers should step down because of his reaction to the $6.7 million police settlement for an injury caused by officers during an arrest and his general record of poor leadership.

Mike Sellers
Santa Clara Police Chief Mike Sellers

Apparently, Sellers avoided Herhold, too, as he writes in his column:

I couldn’t reach Sellers for comment. But the most honorable course for him is to retire.

Between the $6.7 million settlement and the concert curfew, Sellers will have a lot to answer for in the coming weeks and months — if reporters or residents can find him.

Luckily, Sellers has a “Chat with the the Chief” coming up. It’s Monday, October 16, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Here’s what’s interesting. It’s being held at Santa Clara police headquarters. All the other chats were in more friendly, accessible and casual settings. We list them below.

We’ll try and make it. And maybe we’ll save a seat for Herhold and other reporters who need questions answered.

Chat with the Chief

Date Location
9/4/2013   Northside Police Substation
11/4/2013   Maywood Park Building
1/15/2014   Senior Center
3/19/2014   Washington Open Elementary School
2/12/2015   Community Recreation Center
4/6/2015   Northside Branch Library
8/10/2015   Kona Kai Swim and Racquet Club
11/9/2015   Central Park Library
1/7/2016   Don Callejon School
1/11/2016   Kathryn Hughes Elementary School
3/31/2016   Senior Center
5/23/2016   Westwood Elementary School
8/24/16   Bracher Elementary School
10/3/16   Northside Branch Library
11/3/16   Santa Clara University – Graham Hall
2/8/17   Central Park Library
4/26/17   Maywood Park Building
6/5/17   Montague Park Building
8/21/17   Northside Branch Library


  1. Richard,
    You’re absolutely right, the City Council should have created extremely large and appropriate penalties.
    They did not proactively oversee and press the City Manager to do his job!

    I’d presented this request repeatedly to both the City Council and the Stadium Authority.
    If the City Manager and City Council agreed with me there would be huge fines.
    Yet another missed opportunity.

    So much is being fixed after the Julio/Jamie time frame that not everything is getting handled by the City Council. And it seems the former City Manager and senior City Staff are not always on the same page as the Mayor and City Council.

    Bottom line, a lot needs to be fixed and is getting fixed, but it does not seem that Scott Herhold knows all of the facts.

  2. Are you sure he’s the first that should resign?

    As the Mayor why the City Manager dropped the ball on creating the FINES in the first place as he was supposed to. If Rajeev was still onboard he should be fired first.

    Second should be any corrupt city staff in various departments.

    Third should be the Fire Captain, who had even more corruption regarding the stadium.

    Fourth is the City Clerk/Auditor that gets tens of thousands per year and his only auditing is that of what a bookkeeper could do for a fraction of that added cost.

    Fifth is the Police Chief.

    But you’re right, we do need a massive spotlight on what is wrong in Santa Clara.

    But it’s deeper than you think: it’s the corruption and incompetence that is stunningly present throughout the City of Santa Clara senior staff that is even filtering down even more.

    NOTE: The corruption in the SJMN is bad too.. when will Herhold write about that?!?

  3. Sellers did not do his job. He’s in bed with the 49ers. Scott Herhold is right. He should resign or retire.

  4. NO! The City Council should have put in a stiff penalty if the entertainment goes over 10 o’clock to Manco. Manco scheduled the event until after 10, they should be the one that is responsible for the event and should manage the curfew.

    I’d rather the city bring in hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines rather than turning the event into a police state.

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