Updated: 2/28/2014 at 1:32 p.m.
A former Cuesta College criminal justice instructor has been named as the interim police chief in King City, following the arrests of the police department's acting chief and several officers on bribery and embezzlement charges.
Dennis Hegwood was appointed by City Manager Michael Powers to run the police department while a national search is conducted for the department's next police chief.
He'll likely be on the job for the next few months, according to City Attorney Roy Hanley. Hanley says he believes Hegwood is the perfect person to handle this job right now. There could also be another interim chief prior to landing the next permanent leader for the department, as the station rebuilds.
"We're relieved because the DA's investigation stage is over, so now we can begin the process of fixing the department," said Hanley. "I'm happy to say that the officers that remain on the force are there to restore the public's confidence and rebuild the department."
Hanley says if and when these defendants eventually go to trial, there will be witnesses against them that come from within the King City Police Department. This is not a "thin blue line" case, according to the attorney.
San Luis Obispo County residents may remember Hegwood as the City of Atascadero police chief who resigned back in 2004 following a scandal that involved accusations later determined to be false.
Arraignment of the defendants in the bribery and embezzlement case is scheduled to start Monday.