Three pedestrians walk in front of the Burbank Police and Fire Headquarters in Downtown Burbank.

Three pedestrians walk in front of the Burbank Police and Fire Headquarters in Downtown Burbank. (Times Community News / September 27, 2012)

Burbank City Manager Mike Flad is suspending the search for a permanent police chief, the city announced on Thursday. The news comes 10 days after Flad’s announcement that he’d be stepping down from his post to assume the same role at the city of South Gate.

The Burbank City Charter gives the city manager the sole authority to hire a police chief. Because Flad will be gone in a month, he felt the process should be postponed until a new city manager is selected, according to the announcement.

“In talking with several potential applicants for chief of police, it became quite obvious that the city manager position needs to be filled first,” Flad said in a statement.

City officials last week said that recruiting a police chief without a permanent city manager would be difficult and nonsensical.

“Not knowing who his boss is going to be — that’s an uncertainty which I don’t know how many people would want to take,” Councilman Jess Talamantes said at the time.

The City Council will continue to meet over the next few weeks to discuss replacing Flad. In the meantime, Scott LaChasse will continue to serve as interim police chief.

It’s likely the city will have to start the police chief recruitment process over with the arrival of a new city manager, said city spokesman Drew Sugars. He added that the council has not yet decided whether to appoint an interim city manager or fill the position permanently.

-- Alene Tchekmedyian, Times Community News

Follow Alene Tchekmedyian on Google+ and on Twitter: @atchek