As per a press release sent to area news agencies around 11:00 Tuesday evening, Ukiah Police Chief Noble Waidelich is on administrative leave due to an “ongoing criminal investigation led by the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office.”
The press release offers no information regarding the nature of the criminal information, and states, “Because this is both a pending personnel and criminal matter, no further information may be disclosed by the City of Ukiah at this time.”
Deputy City Manager Shannon Riley confirmed that Chief Waidelich is still receiving his salary while on administrative leave.
We have reached out to the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office for further information about the ongoing investigation and will provide details when available.
This news comes days after national media coverage of a civil suit filed by Chief Waidelich’s ex-fiance alleging she was abused by him and was then discredited and pushed out of her job at Mendocino County’s Probation Department to protect her abuser.
Outside of Chief Wadelich, the Ukiah Police Department’s workplace culture and leadership have been called to question in the wake of the firing of Sergeant Kevin Murray for alleged sexual assault, methamphetamine use, and burglary. A former officer has also sued the department for creating a hostile work environment after she complained that Murray had allegedly sexually assaulted her.
The following is the press release issued by the City of Ukiah regarding Waidelich’s administrative leave, and we will proving more information when obtained:
Police Chief Noble Waidelich was placed on administrative leave as of June 14, 2022, pending an ongoing criminal investigation led by Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office. The City is cooperating with investigating authorities while completing the appropriate personnel investigation.
Because this is both a pending personnel and criminal matter, no further information may be disclosed by the City of Ukiah at this time. However, the City is working to provide continuity of services and is committed to sharing additional information when we are able to.
UPDATE 6/15/2022: We received a statement from the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office regarding their investigation that is described in the article below: