Hayward Police Chief Diane Stuart has retired effective immediately, according to a joint statement from Stuart and Hayward City Manager Kelly McAdoo issued Wednesday.
Though she technically still held her position, Stuart has not been in charge of the Police Department since Aug. 29, when McAdoo announced she had placed the former chief on administrative leave and named an acting replacement.
McAdoo and other city officials have never explained why Stuart was placed on leave, citing state law privacy protections for police officers. Stuart's formal departure from the Police Department comes as the city prepares its response to a lawsuit filed by KQED on Nov. 30 seeking the release of public records potentially related to her removal.
The city's joint statement refers to an anonymous letter that initiated an internal investigation into the chief, which the city has said repeatedly is near completion. The Mercury News appears to have received a copy of the same letter, and the newspaper reported that Diane Stuart allegedly "traded favors" with Clark D. Stuart II, who the chief appears to have married in late spring.
The first indication of Clark Stuart's dealings with Hayward occurred in December 2011. Hayward officials signed a contract granting the Police Department access to a proprietary "sexual exploitation network analysis tool" operated by Clark Stuart's company, Global Trident II. Clark Stuart and his Global Trident companies were prominently affiliated with a now-shuttered national nonprofit, Stop Child Trafficking Now, which came under scrutiny for massive fundraising and large payments to Stuart's private companies, with few results.
But Clark Stuart continued to snag business opportunities with the City of Hayward. The city approved a $75,000 contract with his newer management/consulting company, Trident Professionals, in 2014.
"At the time of this release, Chief Stuart has not seen the investigation," says the statement issued Wednesday.
"The investigation report will not be released," McAdoo wrote in an email response Wednesday. McAdoo replied that Diane Stuart did not inform the city of her retirement in writing.
"[I]t was primarily verbal and we crafted the joint statement," McAdoo wrote.
KQED filed a petition in Alameda County Superior Court seeking to compel the city to release records of contracts Hayward entered into with various companies run by Clark Stuart. At a scheduling hearing on Dec. 9, City Attorney Michael Lawson acknowledged records of those contracts are part of the city's investigation. He said the contracts and documentation surrounding them would be released "within a few days," but they have not yet been provided.
A hearing on the petition is scheduled for Dec. 22.
"Chief Stuart’s only interest is to ensure that members of her Department are able to continue serving the Hayward community safely and without the unfortunate distractions of the last few months," her joint statement says.