California Highway Patrol Commissioner Mike Brown is resigning in response to the job’s “incredible demands,” reports the Sacramento Bee. Brown will be replaced by his deputy commissioner, Joseph Farrow, on March 1. Brown, in office since late 2004, had vowed to correct problems in the state’s premier law enforcement agency – most notably, abuse of workplace injury and medical pension benefits, a phenomenon known as “Chief’s Disease.” While Brown remedied those excesses, he ran into problems of his own, including snafus in contracts such as the purchase of new Smith & Wesson pistols, a spate of suicides among officers, and abuse of overtime pay.
A recent audit found that the patrol failed to demonstrate the need to limit competition in its buying handguns and patrol car electronics, and found fault with the patrol’s guidelines for avoiding financial conflicts of interest among workers involved in purchasing. Ex-patrol chief Hubert Acevedo, now police chief of Austin, Tx., said Brown missed the chance to clean up the department “There was a lot of hope when Mike Brown came into office,” said Acevedo, who won a whistle-blower retaliation case against the patrol. “Unfortunately, instead of holding the previous administration accountable, it was more of the same.”