According to a press release sent to area news agencies around 11:00 p.m. Tuesday evening, Ukiah Police Chief Noble Waidelich is on administrative leave due to a “ongoing criminal investigation run by the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office.
The press release gives no information about the nature of the criminal information and states: “Because this is both an ongoing personal and criminal matter, no further information can be released by the City of Ukiah at this time.
Deputy City Manager Shannon Riley confirmed that Chief Waidelich was still receiving his salary while on administrative leave.
We have contacted the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office for more information on the ongoing investigation and will provide details as they become available.
This news comes a few days later national media coverage of a civil lawsuit filed by Chief Waidelich’s ex-fiancé alleging she was abused by him and later discredited and kicked out of her job at the Mendocino County Probation Department to protect her abuser.
Apart from Chief Wadelich, the work culture and leadership of the Ukiah Police Department has been challenged following the sacking of Sergeant Kevin Murray for alleged sexual assault, methamphetamine use and burglary. A former officer also sued the ministry for creating a hostile work environment after complaining that Murray allegedly sexually assaulted her.
The following is the press release issued by the City of Ukiah regarding Waidelich’s administrative furlough, and we will provide more information once obtained:
Police Chief Noble Waidelich has been placed on administrative leave effective June 14, 2022, pending an ongoing criminal investigation by the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office. The City is cooperating with investigating authorities while completing the appropriate personnel investigation.
As this is both an ongoing personal and criminal matter, no further information can be released by the City of Ukiah at this time. However, the City is working to ensure continuity of services and is committed to sharing additional information when we can.
Earlier: Lawsuit of former probation officer alleges domestic abuse by her fiancé, the current Ukiah police chief, and retaliation by her Mendocino County bosses
Update: Sonoma County is investigating Ukiah Police Chief Waidelich at the request of Sheriff Kendall