Stockton City Manager Bob Deis announces retirement, return to Sonoma County

STOCKTON — City Manager Bob Deis, who led Stockton through its financial crisis that hit rock bottom with the city's historic bankruptcy filing last year, announced Tuesday that he will retire and return to Sonoma County.

Deis, 57, said he plans to put in his last day at City Hall on Nov. 1.

Deis quit his job as Sonoma County's top administrator in 2009 and became city manager in Stockton one year later. Since taking the job in July 2010, Deis has battled with the Stockton Police Officers' Association, reorganized and hired a new team of administrators at City Hall and charted a crime-fighting plan to curb generations of street violence.

By month's end, Deis said he will present the City Council with a tax proposal to fund the Marshall Plan on Crime, and in the fall, Stockton will present its exit plan from bankruptcy.

Deis said that by November, he will have accomplished a job that the City Council asked him to do, marking the right moment for him to leave, he said.

"I've been operating in crisis mode for three years," he said. "I can't do that forever."

His tenure may have covered the city's rockiest and most contentious time of its 163-year history. He came on amid a pitched battle over a ballot measure that gave the City Council more control over the fire union contract.

His troubles peaked in 2011, when the police union bought the house next door to one owned by Deis and his wife, Linda.

That sparked a lawsuit from the city, countering one from the union seeking millions in back pay.

Deis and then-police union head Officer Steve Leonesio engaged in a public war of words, and the union served Linda Deis with a subpoena, which a judge later quashed.

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