Three former Broadmoor police chiefs and a retired commander were “unlawfully employed” by their small-town police department and defrauded the state public pension system for years, according to an audit conducted by the California Public Employees’ Retirement System.
The audit, which was posted to the Broadmoor Police Department website today, listed various observed violations, including three retirees who received full-time compensation while also receiving retirement benefits, and two who took large lump-sum payments in addition to their hourly pay.
Broadmoor is a census-designated place located within Daly City. Mission Local broke the story in April about then-Chief Michael Connolly, a former San Francisco Police officer, illegally installing himself as chief of the police department in 2019 and hiring others from the SFPD.
Connolly, who had been under investigation by District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe’s office, admitted guilt on the conflict-of-interest charges he faced, and was sentenced after taking a plea bargain earlier this year.
The accused employees were not named in the audit, but the dates in the audit align with when Dave Parenti and Greg Love served as Broadmoor chiefs of police — two chiefs who served prior to Connolly.
A third Broadmoor police chief prior to Connolly was Arthur Stellini, who served on the San Francisco Police Department for decades before moving to Broadmoor. Stellini retired from Broadmoor in December 2018.
After retirement, the audit alleges that one former police chief — apparently Stellini — became a paid retiree between December 2018, and February 2019. This employee was paid a $32,000 lump sum payment in January 2019, in addition to their hourly pay rate.
Another beneficiary of lump-sum payments was, after retiring briefly, reinstated as chief of the police department, and walked away with an increase in retirement benefits. The dates of that person’s employment line up with Parenti’s.
A third retiree listed in the audit, whose dates of employment align with those of Greg Love, was allegedly approved for disability retirement, but continued working as police chief for over three more years between 2009 and 2012. That retiree’s employment and pay were not reported.
Two police chiefs, whose dates of employment align with Love’s and Parenti’s, were receiving full-time salaries while cashing in on retirement benefits, making more than Public Employees’ Retirement Law permits.
The San Mateo District Attorney, Steve Wagstaffe, told Mission Local in November that his office had been investigating the case for the past couple months. Wagstaffe confirmed today that the case remains under investigation by his public corruption prosecutor. After the investigation, the DA will decide whether to file criminal charges.
The department itself was also found to have problematic reporting of employee pay: The audit found pay schedules were, in some cases, not approved or even available. At the same time, pay rates and earnings were sometimes incorrectly reported, or did not follow regulations, and special compensation was not reported in at least one case.
In a press release this morning, the Broadmoor Police Department appeared to distance itself from its former leaders.
“The District intends to fully cooperate with outside law enforcement, CalPERS, and the District’s lawyers to seek restitution from those responsible,” said the release, which was signed by interim-Chief Ronald Banta.
Banta, whose resignation is set to be accepted at this week’s Police Commission meeting, said the Broadmoor Police Protection District investigated the alleged misconduct before reporting it to CalPERS, which then informed “outside law enforcement authorities.”
A letter from the Broadmoor police department’s attorneys to CalPERS, dated Nov. 12, 2021, indicates general agreement with most of the claims against its former chiefs, except those against Stellini, claiming it has no record of such an employee and is “unaware of the nature of the $32,000 in miscellaneous compensation.”
A special meeting of the Broadmoor Police Commission this week includes a meeting with legal counsel in the face of anticipated litigation coming the department’s way.