Former Sunset Mayor Norm Sant will pay a $300 fine after pleading no contest to a misdemeanor charge that he falsified public records when the city rehired former Police Chief Bruce Gunderson in 1991.
Sant entered the plea this week in 2nd Circuit Court and Judge K. Roger Bean imposed the fine, along with a 90-day suspended jail sentence. A Class B misdemeanor carries a jail term of up to six months.Sant said didn't knowingly break the law when he submitted city documents to the state retirement fund showing that Gunderson, who resigned as chief in 1991, had been rehired as a warrant server for the city's justice court at his same salary.
The rehiring was part of Gunderson's severance package, which the city worked out when the chief resigned in 1991 after being hit with sexual and racial discrimination complaints by a po-lice department secretary.
Sant, 55, was defeated in his re-election bid last fall and new Mayor Carol Bellmon terminated Gunderson's contract when she took office in January. Gunderson has filed suit against the city, claiming he was unfairly discharged.
Gunderson had 32 months to go to receive a full 20-year pension when he resigned under pressure in 1991. By rehiring him as a contract employee to serve warrants, Sant said he was trying to help Gunderson stay eligible for his full retirement.