Santa Ana City Manager Paul Walters has resigned effective Friday, city officials confirmed Thursday afternoon.
Terms of the agreement are still being finalized, according to a city announcement, but Walters will not be returning to his former position as police chief. The city manager’s contract contains a clause allowing him that right should the council fire him.
Instead, Walters will retain his police commissioner title, essentially a liaison position. The specific responsibilities he will carry in that role will be determined by the police chief and new city manager, the announcement says.
The announcement ends more than a week of uncertainty over a City Council decision to fire Walters.
City Hall observers believe Walters is being pushed out as part of a campaign by the council majority to undercut longtime Mayor Miguel Pulido’s influence over the city bureaucracy.
The council majority views Walters as too close to the 10-term mayor. Pulido was the lone vote against the decision to begin the termination process.
But questions remain, such as whether Walters will receive a severance package. City spokesman Jose Gonzalez said he had no additional information.