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Annette Spicuzza, UC Davis police chief, resigning after pepper spray controversy

In this Nov. 18, 2011 file photo, University of California, Davis Police Lt. John Pike uses pepper spray to move Occupy UC Davis protesters while blocking their exit from the school's quad in Davis, Calif. File, Wayne Tilcock,AP Photo/The Enterprise

(CBS/AP) DAVIS, Calif. - Annette Spicuzza, the police chief who oversaw the University of California, Davis police department during its notorious pepper-spraying of Occupy protesters, said Wednesday that she is stepping down.

UC Davis spokesman Barry Shiller said Spicuzza told the school she is retiring effective Thursday.

Spicuzza told the Sacramento Bee that she does not want the Nov. 18 incident to define her or the university, and she's leaving so everyone involved can move forward.

"For the past seven years, I have accomplished many good things for both the police department and community here at UC Davis; and am grateful to those of you who have remembered this," she wrote to the paper.

Spicuzza has been on paid leave since the incident along with Lt. John Pike. He is the man who sprayed the orange liquid into the faces of protesters who were seated on a sidewalk.

Last week, a task force led by a retired California Supreme Court justice issued a report that blamed the incident on poor planning, communication and decision-making at all levels of the school administration.

The report was especially critical of Spicuzza, Pike and UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi.

Complete coverage of UC Davis pepper spraying incident on Crimesider

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