The San Mateo County District Attorney’s office filed three misdemeanor charges on Thursday against Michael Connolly, a former San Francisco Police deputy chief. Connolly recently resigned as police chief of Broadmoor, near Daly City, amid allegations that he illegally took leadership of the Broadmoor Police Department.
The charges Connolly faces are all based on conflict-of-interest statutes (1090, 87100): for indicating his interest in the police chief position while he was chairman of the police commission, for presiding over his own election at the commission in March, 2019, and for voting on an upcoming budget which included his own future salary, according to San Mateo County DA Steve Wagstaffe.
Connolly is expected to appear in court in South San Francisco on Thursday, June 24. No plea agreement has been reached, and Mission Local has not yet received a comment from Connolly’s attorney.
Wagstaffe doesn’t believe Connolly intentionally violated the conflict of interest statutes. “It is my belief, based on our investigation, that he simply failed to pay attention to the rules that are set forth in our government code, which is looking for transparency and honesty in government.”
The charges mean he could face a year in jail and a fine up to $1,000.
Although the DA will not push for Connolly’s incarceration, his June 8 resignation wasn’t sufficient, Wagstaffe said. “To simply do nothing would be … covering up for a police officer, a police chief. And the system, the law has to work the same for everybody. If there is a violation of law, everybody has to be held accountable for it.”
Connolly spent 29 years with the SFPD, rising to the position of deputy chief, and became chairman of the Broadmoor police commission during his last months with the SFPD. He joined the Broadmoor Police Department as chief in June, 2019.
While serving the new department, Connolly fired the former chief, and hired his former colleagues from SFPD. Formerly Connolly’s second in command, Commander Patrick Tobin is now serving as interim police chief of Broadmoor since Connolly’s resignation.
The original accusations about Connolly’s illegal actions were brought to the DA’s attention through a complaint filed by a member of the Broadmoor Police Department. The complaint further alleged that he mismanaged department funds and retaliated against whistleblowers.
Members of the police commission and Broadmoor community expressed their unhappiness the evening of Connolly’s resignation earlier this month, and he is still listed as police chief on the Broadmoor Police Department website.