By Steven Tavares.

Hayward is now in the market for a new police chief, but we still don’t know why. Police Chief Diane Stuart, currently on leave pending an investigation into an unknown matter, is retiring, the city announced Wednesday.

Stuart’s retirement is effective immediately, said Hayward City Manager Kelly McAdoo. Stuart was planning to retire in the spring, according to a statement, after 26 years in law enforcement. She had served as Hayward police chief since 2011.

“Chief Stuart’s only interest is to ensure that members of her Department are able to continue serving the Hayward community safely and without the unfortunate distractions of the last few months,” said a joint statement from Stuart and McAdoo.

Meanwhile, there is still no information regarding why Stuart, formerly Diane Urban, was placed on paid administrative leave last August. Rumors have been flying over exactly what is being alleged of Stuart and city officials have been uncommonly tight-lipped.

The city’s refusal to provide information regarding the matter, in accordance with state public records requests, was recently met with a legal complaint filed earlier this month by KQED.

The city said Wednesday that Stuart has not viewed the investigation into her alleged action, but again reiterated the inquiry was triggered by an anonymous letter. Hayward city officials are treating the investigation as a personnel matter, which could shield Stuart by citing employee privacy laws, primarily those involving law enforcement officials.

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