A Mesa commander who was suspended July 13 for an allegation of poor conduct while supervising the coordination of the Mesa Police and Fire Games will retire in lieu of any possible discipline, police said Thursday.
Cmdr. David Ashe, a 30-year veteran of the force and commander since 2001, returned to work on Wednesday to finish up his duties before using his vacation time from Sept. 15 until he officially retires on Nov. 1.
“It was turned over to an outside law firm,” said Mesa police spokeswoman Holly Hosac. “Substantiating or not substantiating a charge into his work becomes irrelevant at this point.”
Hosac said the law firm Ford & Harrison expects to complete the investigation this month.
She declined to elaborate about the allegation.
“We’ll know more when this is done,” Hosac said.
The task of investigating the allegations into Ashe’s supervising practices was handled by the law firm to assure it was “aboveboard and unbiased,” police Chief George Gascón said in an earlier interview.
Ashe was overseeing the annual Police and Fire Games that take place throughout the United States, Europe and Australia. Participants compete in a variety of events, including basketball, cross country, ice hockey, shooting and more.
Ashe’s attorney, Kent Komadina, could not be reached for comment.
Following Ashe’s departure, the city will be left with five open commander positions created by the retirements of former commanders Ron Kirby, Richard Clore and this week, Steve Toland.
Two of the spots were created through promotions, officials said.
Ten people from inside the department and 19 from other states and agencies and even Australia have applied to be a commander at the department, said Assistant Chief David Zielonka.
The commander search is the first one the city has opened up outside the department.
“We have always in the past just done it internally,” Zielonka said. “We’re hoping to get the best fit possible for the city and the department, and frankly, I think it makes it more competitive among our own people.”
Zielonka said interviews will be scheduled soon and he hopes to begin filling the positions in the next few weeks. The jobs are currently handled by acting commanders.
“It’s not a race, but we’re trying to get it completed by this month,” he said.