Fullerton’s City Manager Retiring Amid Car Crash Investigation

There’s a significant update in that mysterious car crash involving Fullerton’s city manager. Joe Felz, who had taken a leave of absence while the city council was investigating the incident, has now decided to retire – a decision he indicates is unrelated to the election night crash.

Mayor Jennifer Fitzgerald read a statement on Felz’s behalf. “After many years working in public service, I have decided that my family now needs to be my first priority,” it said. “I will take some time away from working to spend time with my children as they enter their high school years.”

Felz has worked for the city since 1984 and has served as its city manager for the past five years. He previously worked as Fullerton’s parks and recreation director, overseeing the Community Center, Lions Field and other key local projects.

“For the last six years, Joe Felz has served the city admirably through some really tough times,” the mayor said. “He’s accomplished a great deal as our city manager, worked on hairy issues such as ... Police Department reform. He’s been a great leader for our city, and I’m grateful for the opportunity I’ve had to work with him.”

Fullerton Human Resources Director Gretchen Beatty will continue serving as Acting City Manager until the city hires an interim replacement. Potential candidates will be discussed at a special meeting on Jan. 5.