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City’s police chief cleared on charges

CARLSBAD — As the city looks for a replacement for Police Chief Thomas Zoll, who recently announced his resignation, results of an investigation emerged clearing the chief of any “chargeable crimes.”
The District Attorney’s office reported no chargeable crimes occurred after an investigation into a complaint filed by Carlsbad Police Department’s Detective Pat Preston, following a meeting between Preston and the police chief.
Reports indicate that Preston filed a complaint May 13, roughly two months after the Zoll ordered him out of his office following a disagreement. According to police reports, the chief reportedly made “veiled threats concerning the victim,” after he left his office.
Last February, Zoll was placed on administrative leave under circumstances which remained under wraps at the time. After spending time off in March and April, he then returned to work.
City officials have said they cannot comment at this time, but the preliminary investigation by the police department was forwarded to the city’s attorney who forwarded it to the District Attorney’s office. The District Attorney’s office responded July 2, finding that no chargeable crimes occurred.
After serving as the city’s police chief for six years, Zoll announced his resignation on July 30. In an e-mail to members of the police department, Zoll said his resignation is not because of the incident, but confirmed that a particularly stressful year, with the recent deaths in the family of his father and mother-in-law, as well as departmental troubles, were all contributing factors in his decision.
Many colleagues have had nothing but praise for the chief, whose law enforcement career began in 1972. Zoll worked for the San Diego County’s Sheriff’s Department, before joining the Carlsbad Police Department in October of 2003. Zoll had served as assistant sheriff as well as commander for the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department Law Enforcement Services Bureau, serving nine cities in the county.