Freelance journalist Bryan Carmody sold details of Jeff Adachi’s death report for $2,500 a pop, and now he’s sledgehammered out a $369,000 settlement with SFPD over the raid of his home.
It’s been more than a year since the sudden death of public defender Jeff Adachi turned into a sordid drip-drip of salacious details about his passing that alleged marijuana, cocaine, and a possibly extramarital relationship. The unethical leak of those details drew outrage from City Hall and a hasty raid on the home of journalist Bryan Carmody, who was alleged to have been selling the leaked goods to local media outlets for $2,500 apiece. That raid boomeranged public opinion back in Carmody’s favor, and his involvement in this now seems happily completed. The SF Examiner reports that Carmody and the SFPD have reached a $369,000 settlement arrangement over the police raid that has since been ruled illegal.
Sure enough, this settlement agreement is indeed buried at the bottom of Tuesday's SF Board of Supervisors agenda (Page 31). According to a legal filing submitted to the Board, Carmody’s “claim involves the circumstances surrounding a series of warrants concerning Mr. Carmody and the conduct of the Police Department in the course of the investigation involving those warrants,” and that “The Police Department has recommended settlement of the claim by payment of $369,000.”
The board usually approves these settlements with little or no discussion.
The police, of course, raided Carmody’s home with a sledgehammer in May when they suspected he had somehow acquired the information illegally. But SFPD Chief Bill Scott pulled an about-face apology in a late Friday news dump just before Memorial Day weekend, then a San Francisco Superior Court judge ruled the raid illegal in July. Shortly after that, Carmody submitted his legal complaint.
SFPD has not commented on the settlement, nor has Carmody on his very frequent Twitter posts. City Attorney’s Office spokesperson John Cote told the Examiner, “We think this proposed settlement is an appropriate resolution given all of the circumstances and the inherent cost of further litigation.”
We may never know how Carmody ended up getting these leaked details from law enforcement, and when the SFPD is essentially investigating itself, it’s unsurprising that they were somehow unable to find any wrongdoing. While the department suggested last year that they would bring in an independent third party to investigate the matter, the Examiner reports that “it’s unclear if an independent investigator ever took up the case.”
Image: Bryan Carmody via Twitter