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Extracurricular Activities: Public Servant Misconduct in 2012 

Wednesday, Dec 26 2012

This year, employees of the Department of the Environment were not nabbed running a Styrofoam ring. The Historic Preservation Commission didn't raze any historic buildings, and the Board of Supervisors Public Safety Committee failed to gather in neutral zones wearing gang colors.

A goodly number of sworn officers of the law saw the wrong side of a jail cell, however, starting with Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi's January arrest following a physical altercation with his wife.

Mirkarimi was one of seven Sheriff's Department employees to be arrested this year. He was joined by Lt. Vincent Calvarese, who was charged with assaulting a former beau at a Gold's Gym; Deputy Manconia Tamika Green, charged with brandishing a firearm during a spat with her sister's neighbor; and Deputy Philip Chun Tong, charged with knocking over a Bank of America. Per the department, three other employees were arrested in out-of-county DUI cases.

Not to be outdone by their fellow public safety employees, the San Francisco Police Department reports that a dozen of its sworn officers or non-sworn members were arrested in calendar year 2012. Seven were popped for DUIs, three for theft, one was arrested for possession of narcotics paraphernalia, and another for "unauthorized access to law enforcement information."

In the cops' favor, however, 99.5 percent of the department managed to avoid getting arrested in 2012. And at least they're keeping track: A public records request sent to the Fire Department was returned with the terse explanation that "The Department does not maintain lists of employees who were arrested." The department noted, however, that it "does maintain records of confirmed misconduct, which the Department may disclose in accordance with the Public Records Act."

One public records request later, this turned out to be a small trove of suspension papers for firefighters accused of kicking one another, pushing one another, cursing one another, falsifying reports or offering false testimony, and, most intriguingly, a recruit who allegedly "knowingly sought and obtained confidential information regarding testing topics while attending the 113th Fire Academy ... and disseminated that information to members of [the] Recruit Class. Furthermore, [the recruit] engaged other members of [the] class to withhold the testing information from the Academy Director."

Conversely, a former training officer was charged with leaking "information regarding testing material to a Recruit Academy student." These suspensions, respectively, were for four and eight days.

That's significantly shorter than you'd get for knocking over the Bank of America.

About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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