An SFPD officer is facing internal disciplinary proceedings and has been put on desk duty after it was discovered that she may have had an inappropriate relationship with a confidential informant.
The officer was not identified in a Chronicle piece Tuesday, but the paper reports that the District Attorney's Office has begun dismissing cases that this officer was involved in. Two cases have been dismissed so far, but the total number remains unclear — and this officer reportedly had participated in "large-scale busts of dealers of fentanyl and other drugs."
The SFPD has declined to comment on the case or confirm the officer's identity, but the SF Standard found through court documents that it may be Officer Christina Hayes, who has been part of the Narcotics Unit at Tenderloin Station. Hayes has reportedly been with the department since 2006 and with the Narcotics Unit since 2018, claiming that she has participated in over 1,000 narcotics arrests.
Sometimes serving as an expert witness at trial, Hayes's testimony could now be called into question by defense attorneys due to this disciplinary action against her.
As the Chronicle notes, "Under California law, information that may impact an officer’s credibility is considered exculpatory, and must be disclosed to the defense if a case proceeds to trial."
Randy Quezada, a spokesperson for the District Attorney’s Office, put out a statement saying that they are reviewing cases, and determinations about moving forward will be done on a case-by-case basis. Quezada would only confirm that some cases are stalled "due to current issues with witness unavailability."
The nature, timing, or circumstances of the alleged inappropriate relationship have yet to be confirmed. The SFPD has only said that it is a confidential personnel matter.
The story harkens back to a few embarassments the city has had with regard to personnel which have directly impacted drug cases. A decade ago, in 2011, there was the case of SFPD drug lab worker Deborah Madden, who had a bad habit of stealing cocaine. That case led to the dismissal of hundreds of cases, and to the city spending untold millions on outsourcing drug-lab work for an extended period of time.
More recently, in 2020, a medical examiner's lab technician was accused of stealing meth from evidence lockers, in a case that had implications for some 2,500 cases going back eight years.
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