Then SFPD Officer Paulo Morgado shoves Charles Haynes in 2008, an incident for which he was terminated. Image taken from the Department of Police Accountability's investigative file.

Paulo Morgado, an officer who the San Francisco Police Department fired in 2011 and then had to abruptly rehire in 2017 as the result of a major court case, has been canned again.

But in the meantime, he got a big payout and walked away with more than half a million dollars.  

This made Morgado, who has been a “mortgage loan originator” in San Diego for the last eight years, the highest-paid employee on the city’s payroll in 2018. He raked in $592,394.34 — more than the mayor and the police chief combined. 

It was an anomaly. 

A California Appellate Court in 2017 ordered the department to rehire Morgado and pay him back wages, ruling that the city violated the law by not allowing him to appeal his 2011 termination. 

The Police Commission fired him for using racist language and wantonly arresting a black U.S. Army veteran in March 2008 — and then allegedly lying about it. But Morgado sued the city in February 2012, arguing that he had a right to appeal the decision. A California appeals court in June 2017 agreed and upheld an earlier ruling that also supported Morgado’s right to administratively appeal the Police Commission’s decision.  

The commission scrambled to come into compliance with the law, ultimately passing a policy this year that gave final say over any SFPD officer’s termination to the California Office of Administrative hearings. San Franciscans could be voting on a ballot measure to bring that appeals process back to San Francisco as early as 2020. 

In August, Morgado was finally given a chance to appeal in front of an Administrative Law Judge, according to SFPD spokesman David Stevenson. The judge upheld the Commission’s 2011 decision, effectively firing Morgado again.

“He separated from the department on the next day,” Stevenson wrote. Stevenson did not answer questions about whether Morgado received pay in 2019, but he did say he had been reinstated as an officer until the judge’s gavel fell in August — almost eight years after he was fired the first time. 

Julian Mark

Julian grew up in the East Bay and moved to San Francisco in 2014. Before joining Mission Local, he wrote for the East Bay Express, the SF Bay Guardian, and the San Francisco Business Times.

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2 Comments

  1. No police department in America or anywhere else for that matter should have or keep racists officers in their departments and believe me there are plenty. But Black and Hispanic people knew this all along and have complained about it for decades and decades but were never taken seriously, we have also complained about being racially profiled back then and it still continues. As human beings we must do better and we must fight to become better.

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