Fajitagate cops to appear before Police Commission
Photo/illustration courtesy sfist.com
By Brent Begin, Bay City News Service
August 3, 2006
SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - Seven San Francisco policemen facing
disciplinary charges in connection to the famed "fajitagate"
case will have a chance to exonerate themselves in front of the
police commission Thursday night.
In a session expected to be open to the public, each will be
given 10 minutes to argue that the disciplinary charges filed
by the police commission against them should be dismissed. The
commission is then expected to deliberate in closed session and
reveal its decision afterward.
Capt. Gregory Corrales, Lt. Henry Parra, Lt. Ed Cota, Sgt. John
Syme, Inspector Paul Falconer and Officers Dan Miller and Gene
Corwin are charged with "neglect of duty," in connection
with a Nov. 2002 Union Street brawl involving three off-duty officers.
A civil court awarded $46,000 total to the two complainants who
claimed they were accosted by Alex Fagan Jr., Matthew Tonsing
and David Lee -- who were all off-duty officers at the time --
over a bag of fajitas.
The other officers are all allegedly involved with a cover up
that occurred later.
The commission has already denied the officers' requests to dismiss
the charges since they were originally filed in 2003, but due
to a recent change in case law, the accused are once again appearing,
according to commission secretary Sgt. Joe Reilly.
A representative from the Office of Citizen Complaints will have
a chance to counter the arguments, and the officers are then allowed
a five-minute rebuttal.
Also, near the end of the meeting, Chief Heather Fong is expected
to update the commission on the officer-involved shooting of Asa
Sullivan on June 6. Fong is expected to discuss whether the officers
involved in the shooting, John Keesor and Michelle Alvis, will
return to duty. The decision will be made in closed session.
A lawyer for Sullivan's family filed a $10 million civil suit
today against the officers involved, Fong and the City and County
of San Francisco.
Also during Thursday night's meeting, the commission is expected
to review a new plan by the Board of Supervisors to redraw district
lines every 10 years, and another plan to increase foot patrols
in high-crime areas. Commissioners are expected to review the
plans and submit suggestions to the Board of Supervisors.
The meeting is scheduled to take place at 5:30 p.m. in room 263
of City Hall. The previous two meetings were postponed due to
the death of Officer Nick Birco.
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