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SF Assistant District Attorney Violates Ethics Rule June 6, 2016

What happens when a high level city officer, (as in San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon), along with some members of his staff are caughtillegally soliciting donations at a campaign fundraiser? What happens is that the word gets out and it all hits the fan, and fast.

Gascon and the staff members involved hat been hit with fines from the city Ethics Commission, to the tune of several thousand dollars. Gascon’s fine is $4,000, and Assistant District Attorney Michael Swart and chief of staff Cristine Soto DeBerry are said to have been fined $1,400 each. All of this looks like a fundraiser that totally backfired, costing the “fundraisers” big bucks instead of bringing in extra cash.

What was behind the blunder? One would have to think Gascon would have known better than to behave in such a gross fashion. The solicitations were made to city employees who were attending the campaign fundraiser, and the awkwardness of the situation is obvious. It’s tough to say no to the Assistant District Attorney at a social event when you are a city employee, and anyone with any sense at all would have to have known that this kind of behavior is completely out of bounds.

Apparently, Gascon thought he could get away with it, and he had no problem with asking his staff members to join him in carrying out the “fund raising” plan. According to Ethics Commission Chairman Paul Renne, Gascon and his staff said they were “unaware” that they were in violation of fundraising ethics rules. That’s a very funny answer, as Gascon has attended ethics training classes and he clearly should have known that soliciting employees was problematic at best.

Who has the final word? For now, Gascon has not returned any calls for comment on the incident.

 

Find out more about George Gascon:

http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Ex-police-union-leader-s-explosive-charge-6864230.php

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-7YMtRac89k

http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/video/category/news-politics/3368209-sf-police-union-officials-claim-da-gascon-made-racist-remarks-at-drunken-party/

 

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Categories: Police

San Francisco Sets Stage for War of Words May 4, 2016

San Francisco’s District Attorney George Gascón is facing quite a bit of controversy following remarks from former Police Officers Association President Gary Delagnes made about the DA that were perhaps intended to be kept quiet. The remarks in question paint Gascón in an unfriendly light, citing his use of homphobic and racial slurs when in Delagnes’ company.

Delagnes submitted these remarks during his testimony before a blue-ribbon panel a little over a week after Gascón had to submit a testimony of his own. The consensus seemed to be troubling for the DA, citing such attitudes as being detrimental to the POA’s ability to reform itself. Prior to retiring in 2013, Delagnes spent 25 years as a police officer, nine of them as the president of the POA, which would suggest that his words carry weight. But the officer is also known for a series of excessive force charges that don’t place him in too positive a light either, despite the fact that he claims that he had a comfortable relationship with Gascón where they communicated regularly. However, Martin Halloran, the current president of the POA, backed up Delagnes’ claim, reciting a dinner with Gascón where he drunkenly demeaned minorities in public and upset some patrons at the restaurant. Delagnes also stated his willingness to testify again if called.

These charges come on the heels of a corruption investigation that has been launched by the FBI. In response to these particular charges, Alex Bastian, spokesman for the District Attorney’s Office, stated that Delagnes’ assertions are the product of his “imagination” yet did not directly refute any of the claims that were made.

Delagnes stated that his willingness to share this information about Gascón after the DA made remarks about the police force’s disinterest in addressing biases that influence their policing practice. Delagnes pointed to Gascón’s time with the police force, and stated that such initiatives to police more fairly with racial, sexual, or gender biases in mind were not of priority to the current District Attorney, placing his past at odds with his recent statements.

These charges come on the heels of a corruption investigation that has been launched by the FBI. In response to these particular charges, Alex Bastian, spokesman for the District Attorney’s Office, stated that Delagnes’ assertions are the product of his “imagination” yet did not directly refute any of the claims that were made.

Other information for George Gascon:

http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Ex-police-union-leader-s-explosive-charge-6864230.php

http://newschoolmagazine.com/

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Categories: Police San Francisco