BARSTOW—Barstow police chief Dianne Burns remains away from her post at police department headquarters, four months after she took an extended vacation and more than three months after she was placed on administrative leave August 4.
Burns was scheduled to return from a two-week vacation on July 18, but had not returned to her office by that date. City officials have not specified the reason for her extended leave. Previous statements provided by city manager Curt Mitchell indicated Lt. Albert Ramirez is serving as acting police chief in Burns’ absence but Burns has not been relieved of her post as Barstow police chief and she yet retains her title and is receiving her full salary.
It was previously anticipated that negotiations to extend her tenure with the city would begin in the fall. By the terms of her contract, Burns serves entirely at the pleasure of Mitchell, who can terminate her for any reason he alone deems acceptable or for no stated cause whatsoever. The contract provides her with a 90-day severance package upon termination.
More than 90 days have elapsed since she was placed on leave. Mitchell would not comment on unconfirmed reports that Burns’ leave was medical in nature. He would not go beyond saying she remains on leave. “There is no change on the status of chief Burns,” Mitchell said. “That is pretty much it.”