BARSTOW Barstow Police Department Chief of Police Dianne Burns will be resuming her duties Monday after being placed on administrative leave in August 2011.

City Manager Curt Mitchell confirmed Burns was on administrative leave August 4, 2011, after weeks of her absence at the department. Lt. Albert Ramirez served as acting chief in her absence.

Mitchell declined to give an explanation for her leave, citing the situation as a private personnel matter.

"Police Chief Burns was placed on paid administrative leave after the city determined a personnel matter needed to be reviewed," Mitchell said in a prepared statement. "Being placed on administrative leave was not an adverse disciplinary action, but rather a necessary step to protect both the city's and Police Chief Burns' interests."

Burns joined the Barstow Police Department in June 2007 after serving 20 years with the Los Angeles Police Department. Previous reports showed her salary at $135,000 per year. Her contract will be considered for renewal in four or five months, according to Mayor Joe Gomez.

"I'm happy to see the chief back," Gomez said. "I always have supported the police chief and I'll continue to support the police chief."

Police Department Sgt. Andy Espinoza, who handles media affairs, declined to comment and directed media inquiries to Mitchell.

Attempts to reach Burns by phone were unsuccessful Thursday.

Contact the writer:
(760) 256-4123 or klucia@desertdispatch.com