LAGUNA NIGUEL — Jerry Slusiewicz abruptly resigned as councilman Tuesday, Dec. 5, saying he feared for his family’s safety after a window of his office had been shot over the weekend.
Slusiewicz, who’s been butting heads with city staff and the rest of the council over the past several months, sent a resignation letter to City Clerk Eileen Gomez around 6 p.m., an hour before the start of Tuesday’s regular City Council meeting.
“Serving the citizens of Laguna Niguel has been a tremendous privilege and I am grateful to the taxpayers who twice elected me their advocate,” Slusiewicz wrote in the letter. “Yet my greatest commitment has alwasy been to my family and my highest honor serving as a husband and a father. Their safety is my top priority, and this has shaken us to the core.
“Considering the events of the last 48 hours, we have decided as a family that it would be unwise for me to remain on the City Council.”
According to the letter, Slusiewicz arrived at his office — inside a business complex across Alicia Parkway from Laguna Niguel City Hall — Monday morning and found someone had shot through his window. Slusiewicz is a manager for Pacific Financial Planners.
Orange County Sheriff’s Lt. Matthew Barr, who serves as the city’s chief of police services, said he received a call from Slusiewicz around 8:30 a.m. Monday and sent a deputy to Slusiewicz’s office.
There was a hole in the window, but the deputy didn’t find a bullet, Barr said. Investigators are looking into the case, and there was no suspect as of Tuesday night, he added.
Slusiewicz, who didn’t attend Tuesday’s council meeting, couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
City Attorney Terry Dixon read the resignation letter at the beginning of the meeting, but there was no mention of Slusiewicz by city staff and council members after that. Instead they celebrated the swearing-in of newly selected mayor Elaine Gennawey and Mayor Pro Tem John Mark Jennings.
“I just really wish Jerry and his family the best,” Gennawey said after the meeting.
She said she learned about Slusiewicz’s resignation on her way to City Hall.
“I think we are still processing it,” Gennawey said.
Since late July, Slusiewicz has been accused of bullying city employees and administrators in addition to demanding a discount on carpet at a Laguna Niguel store because of his city position and threatening the director of a community theater to get his daughter a part in a…