Gerry Serrano – the controversial Santa Ana police union president who city leaders said once threatened to “burn the city to the ground unless he gets what he wants” – has “separated” from City Hall, officials announced on Monday.

The confirmation came in an email from city spokesperson Paul Eakins:

“Mr. Serrano has been separated from City service pending retirement pursuant to a confidential personnel matter.”

Requests for comment from Serrano went unreturned on Monday.

It comes in the wake of what Serrano’s critics deemed a pressure campaign in recent years, to boost his public pension as a police union leader. 

It was a request that officials deemed improper, but his insistence on finding an accommodation brought him to public and unsuccessful legal blows with top city leaders – and fueled a fierce department loyalty battle with Police Chief David Valentin.

Since Serrano’s rise to the police union’s top ranks in 2016, the organization has spent heavily on citywide elections, successfully recalled a council member over her opposition to $25 million in police raises over two-and-a-half years in 2019, and most recently launched recall efforts against two more for their unfavorable votes last December on more union pay raise demands.

One of those recall efforts, against Council Member Jessie Lopez, has successfully qualified for an election.

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