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

Facing allegations that he illegally took over as police chief of the Broadmoor police department, former longtime San Francisco cop Michael Connolly broke into tears tonight as he announced his resignation in front of the Broadmoor Police Commission. 

“There are decisions that all chiefs make that we wish we could go back and change,” Connolly said, after reading a quote from the International Association of Chiefs of Police about integrity and ethical standards. 

“So I want to say, I apologize to you as a commission, to the community, and to the department. We all make mistakes. And sometimes you have to pay for those mistakes.”

The former SFPD officer, who became chief of the Broadmoor police department in 2019, did not elaborate on what those mistakes were, but asserted that any decisions he made “have all been in the interest of this community, and this department.”

His second-in-command, Commander Patrick Tobin, also a former member of the SFPD who Connolly hired in 2017, was sworn in as interim chief. 

Tobin has a history of misconduct for which he was disciplined during his time with SFPD. 

Although the three police commissioners of the small San Mateo County force officially accepted Connolly’s resignation, it was clear the change was not a welcome one. 

“I think we had a big loss here, a big loss over an unintentional mistake … and I don’t like it,” said Commissioner Ralph Hutchens. Commissioner Marie Brizuela wiped away tears with a tissue. 

Mission Local broke the story in April that Connolly had been accused of illegally placing himself at the head of the small department, where several officers allege he converted it into his personal fiefdom and ATM.  

San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe told Mission Local Tuesday that Connolly’s resignation is not “connected to or part of some resolution” with the DA’s office. 

Wagstaffe has been investigating allegations that Connolly improperly presided over police commission meetings during which the commission selected him as Broadmoor police chief and determined his salary. 

“We’ve completed our investigation, we’ve had a discussion on it, and I believe we’ll be ready to make an announcement. We’re thinking next week,” Wagstaffe said. The announcement will include whether any charges against Connolly will be filed. 

Wagstaffe said the charges his team has been discussing involve conflict of interest statutes, which prohibit officials at different levels of government from being “financially interested in any contract made” by them or by a body or board of which they are members. 

Connolly spent 29 years with the SFPD, and joined the police commission of Broadmoor, in San Mateo County, while still working in San Francisco. 

Eventually he became the chairman of the Broadmoor Police Commission, and in March, 2019, he presided over a meeting in which he was elected as Broadmoor’s police chief. At a later meeting, he voted on his own future salary and a tax increase for citizens of Broadmoor — which would fund his future department. 

With his new position and salary secured, Connolly left the SFPD in May, 2019, and took over at the Broadmoor Police Department that June. 

Broadmoor sits as a municipal island in the middle of Daly City, and is part of unincorporated San Mateo County. 

Tobin, the new interim chief, also has a history of abuses and has been disciplined in the past for violence against youth. Currently, he’s ensnared in an ongoing lawsuit for allegedly harassing a gay SFPD officer for his sexuality.

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REPORTER. Eleni is our reporter focused on policing in San Francisco. She first moved to the city on a whim nearly 10 years ago, and the Mission has become her home. Follow her on Twitter @miss_elenius.

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  1. He retired as a police officer and then became a police chief for another department?
    Sounds like a serious case of double-dipping.

  2. AN

    This guy is a tool in every sense of the word. He should be ashamed of himself and the Broadmoor Police commission should be ashamed of their selves for now appointing Tobin as acting chief with his known history. This police district is a joke…

  3. Tough to be in public service, high profile position. While I agree voting on your salary is a conflict of interest, he was voted in as Chief of Police. Yes, Broadmoor may be too small to have it’s own Chief, but the Broadmoor commission seemed to feel it was needed. As far as his character, I can unequivocally state that Mike is an officer and gentleman in the truest sense of both words. Hang in there sir and keep your faith.

  4. Hmmm… violence against youth, harassing a fellow officer.
    Hey, I’ve got an idea… let’s make him chief! 🙄

  5. BPD should just be inherited by Daly City or Colma.

    You really have to be realistic with Northern California as a whole.

    It’s extremely expensive to run a functional police department

    The garbage tax isn’t cutting the mustard

    BPD= The fall of Saigon, the NVA are at the gates

    California sucks and is impossible to justify cost wise.

    When people like Connelly try to make moves for the department, they get pigeon holed

    Reserves dont even get paid in one of the most expensive counties (San Mateo) in the country

    1. There was a time when Broadmoor patrolled Colma after 4:oopm until day shift started, they only had one officer ( Chief) . Broadmoor had a reserve force of 20 who worked free unless assigned a paid job ! We had great officers 7 full time, 1 Chief and 1 Lt, I hate to see the Department suffer because of these corrupt Chiefs. but it might be time for the Sheriff department take over because of funding !

  6. I use to know Connolly and Tobin when I use to be a SFPD officer. Connolly was such a dbag and Tobin was racist. If they don’t file against Connolly, you know he has pull. If Tobin is still waiting on outcome of his SFPD charges, then why did broadmoor allow him to be employed there?

  7. Double dipping 2 pension.1 from s.f.p.d. 1 from san Mateo.just power hungry and money hungry.itis not about the job.but about power of authority.

  8. Accirding the photo at the top of this story, “Chief” Connolly sure appears highly decorated. Reminds me a little of muammar Gaddafi, should he have lightened the blue to something more like cornflower, it would be spot on. Anyway, I wonder if it’s common for an oficer of a department to wear those decorations awarded to them from previous stints at other departments? It must be, otherwise the now ex-chief must’ve been zooming around like a madman saving people from all sorts of demize. Particularly in such a short period of time and in a deparment serving a town
    With no real, or umagined for that matter, geographical border other than that of the Daly City Home Depot.