James Mitchell Waller, who served briefly as chief of police, then city manager for Westminster, was killed in cycling accident in Laguna Beach Friday morning.
According to the Orange County Coroner, Waller, 54, was struck by a car while cycling along the southbound Route 133 in Laguna around 8:48 a.m. A biking companion was also injured.
“Mitch” served for 29 years in a variety of capacities for Westminster. He became the chief of police in 2009, and then was elevated to city manager in 2011.
But he soon clashed with city council members, who placed him on paid administrative leave on July 16, 2012 and finally accepted his retirement on Aug. 15, 2012.
No public reason was given for his ouster. City Attorney Richard Jones at the time called it a “a communications issue between the council and the city manager.”