Michael Connolly
Broadmoor Police Chief Michael Connolly shakes hands with a meeting attendee after announcing his resignation on June 8, 2021. Photo by Eleni Balakrishnan

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.

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Eleni Balakrishnan

Eleni is our reporter focused on policing in San Francisco. She first moved to the city on a whim over eight years ago, and the Mission has become her home. Follow her on Twitter @miss_elenius.

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15 Comments

  1. So nice that the DA is making excuses for him nevertheless. I wish the state AG had taken over the investigation

    1. DA Wagstaffe laying out beyond basic policing principles is hilarious.

      “…he simply failed to pay attention to the rules that are set forth in our government code…”

      Oh my. I’m no lawyer, but that sounds like a real tender, roundabout way of announcing someone broke the law to me. Borderline announcing that ignorance of the law is an excuse.

      “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.”

      Batting them out of the net right and left, he is. Nothing gonna get by this guy. Too funny.

  2. The Whole Broadmore Police District in its entirety needs to be examined. This is a small unincorporated neighborhood with very little retail and a small business core. The community rightly so has resisted with some successes incorporating in to other towns. Now basically cops playing games they often do when given or taking too much power with time on their hands. The special district should exist but the force should be disbanded in favor of outside contracting by another agency. This has gone on way too long.

    1. Your life needs to be examined. Maybe run a little it’ll get the blood flowing. Keyboard warrior.

    2. This guy has been horrible since day one. I live in Broadmoor and the cops are the worst. Unfortunately the police commission is full of fools that can’t except that “mike” just cleaned house and got paid ….
      The reason we haven’t merged with Daly Shitty, the taxes there horrible there police, and the mismanagement of there city ,…. If anything San Mateo Sheriff’s office would be a pleasure…..
      Just the fact that they added a 5% Tax to pay for this guy and his friends….
      And they sold guns that were supposed to be destroyed under law ….
      Umm why is his right hand man now the interim Chief…. Ralph Hutchens that’s why … so primitive in thinking just like the commission that allows this to continue…. Bring in the Sheriff!!!!!

  3. What he has done should be felony. This should be taken care of independently. Also in higher courts and not covered up and slap in the hand like always.

  4. Great idea!

    Fire the entire department and let them apply for their jobs back is a good one too.

    Either way, I’ll watch this thread with particular curiosity as it is in my wheelhouse as they say.

    Go Giants!

    h.

  5. It would be worth repeating from a previous article on this subject, that current Chief Bill Scott promoted Officer Connolly to deputy chief where “headed up the SFPD’s “Professional Standards and Principled Policing Bureau,” where he oversaw the “compliance program” for the SFPD’s implementation of the U.S. Department of Justice’s 272 reform recommendations. During Connolly’s oversight, the SFPD completed a mere 4 percent of those reforms.” When it comes to absurd humor, “reform” at the SFPD is tough to beat.

  6. Such unseemly shadenfreude in the comments section. These are all minor infractions that are easily explained as simple mistakes without intent…. whereas, if any of you drive, you’re probably breaking the law intentionally, as I’ve yet to see anyone in the Bay Area actually obey the speed limit….

    Hypocrites.

  7. Connolly just picked whom hw thoght was the best man for the job. Just because it wss himself, mere coincidence!

    1. Hilarious. Haymond? Aren’t you the one who was busted DUI in SF and had an IA record with SFPD a mile long? What else do you know about Connolly?

  8. Everyone on here makes it seems like he committed the crime of the century! Geez… there was no intent but just a mistake… no malicious intent. you all need to be informed and read those sections. No wonder this generation is out of hand because of your stupidity.

    1. If those who are elected to enforce the law claim ignorance after breaking the law, that is a problem.

      Connolly engaged in self-dealing and nepotism. The intent was seemingly to increase his position and power, and to create positions for his cronies.

      I’ll leave legalities to the legal system, but when the DA is speaking like a friend of the defendant instead of an impartial deliberator, that is disconcerting.

  9. Since the DA is already commenting on his innocence it is a done deal.

    I say make the defunct chief pay back his salary that he stole from the citizens of Broadmoor since 2019 and call it a day. At $160,000 a year he can make things right again.

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