In the wake of an ego bruising defeat by California Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes to represent the region’s 60th Assembly District in November 2018, Republican Bill Essayli found a home as Chief of Staff of San Bernardino’s Mayor John Valdivia who was elected for the first time in the same election cycle. Last week Essayli announced he was resigning his position as Chief of Staff and planned to return to practicing law. However, as a young Republican who also happens to be Muslim, some suspect he still has political yearnings. During his short tenure as Valdivia’s chief of staff, Essayli was often criticized for some of the plans he presented on behalf of the mayor. In addition, he may have fumbled responsibilities in other areas including (as recently reported by The IE Voice/Black Voice News) the city’s failure to meet transparency reporting requirements of city employees’ pay and benefits to the California State Controller’s Office. Essayli purportedly told a reporter for SCNG the city was not even aware it had missed the reporting deadline and referred to the failure to report as an oversight. However, the state controller’s office claimed it made several failed outreach attempts to the city to prompt it to respond in time to meet the report’s publication deadline. Some critics viewed the city’s failure to provide the legally required information as either a failure of Essayli’s leadership as chief of staff, evidence of inexperience or proof of incompetence. In any case, the mayor will be left without a chief of staff as he continues to navigate troubled waters that include most importantly, efforts to close the city’s budget shortfall which included a split council decision over cutting salaries of San Bernardino’s elected city attorney, city clerk and city treasurer which has led to the city’s need to incur the additional cost burden associated with defending against the suit.
Header Photo: Bill Essayli