Photo from Broadmoor Police Department website

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. 

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REPORTER. 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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29 Comments

  1. This now makes so much sense why Parenti and cohorts tried to take Connolly down! They needed him out before Connolly found them out.

    1. Parenti wasn’t that great of a police chief when I worked there. It seemed that he didn’t want any other ethnicities in the department.

  2. Good work Eleni. It’s greedy guys like these fools who make the good cops look bad. The citizens deserve better and should demand it.

    1. Former police officer, ranked or who ever tend to take full advantage of people who don’t know anything. I worked hard when I was in SFPD just to have them turn on me and use me as a scapegoat. No wonder why no one wants to be a cop anymore

  3. Well now it all makes sense why they needed Connolly out of the picture. His team found all of this!! They thought If Connolly was out the investigation would stop! Nope the real professionals do not give up!!!

  4. Why can’t the Sheriff take over now? It’s clear the Broadmoor Police Commission can’t provide oversight which has allowed a culture of corruption and self-dealing to fester in Broadmoor.

    1. The Broadmoor Commission was duped by these three individuals. The Commission relied on these three people to be honest in their appointments. Unfortunately, the Commission has no oversight in the payroll system. The Payroll was submitted and approved by the Chiefs that were employed from at least 2008 though 2018. I want to know how much money was was unlawfully received by these individuals!

      1. Who oversees the Chiefs if not the Commission? Also, at least one of these individuals was the chief. The department indisputably needs better (any) oversight which the Commission can’t provide, so it makes sense to just disband the department and go with the Sheriff like many other communities on the peninsula have done.

  5. God Bless You Eleni.
    Truth, Honesty, Transparency are needed in this world & business.
    We work hard and hopefully get small raises & promotions, but some cheat & ruin it for everyone else in many ways.
    Getting rid of corruption is part of leaving a better world for our children.

  6. Why is Broadmoor the last stepping stone for SF police?
    Will Wagstaf prosecute or is this lip service??
    This whole mess doesn’t pass the smell test.

    1. What part doesn’t pass the smell test? The part where Parenti as Chief of Police and District Manager had Commissioner Connolly sign the budget which was an unknown conflict of interest, and was ultimately used against Connolly by Parenti when he heard the district audit found missing payroll money during Parenti’s tenure, the Part where Chief Connolly fired Parenti because he could not be trusted; or the part where Ex Emeritus Chief Parenti was found to be defrauding Broadmoor taxpayers and CalPERS? It seems to me Parenti thought he had another puppet ready to follow his orders when Connolly got on board. Once Connolly found deceit they went after him to keep their illegal activities hidden.

  7. I guess the Chiefs mention brought the San Francisco way to a once great Department, Why have a Police commission if they don’t control the funds and actions of the leadership of the Department ?

  8. Of these 3 chiefs, only one came from San Francisco (all names are in the article) one came from South San Francisco Fire Department, was a firefighter then Arson Investigator, then San Franscisco DIstrict Attorney’s Office as Investigator, then became Vice President Kamala’s bodyguard/driver? My vice president doesn’t need this – thanks! The third chief started his career at Broadmoor and ended his career there. That turned out well, didn’t it.

      1. Yes, Connolly did retire from SFPD, although he is not one of the chiefs alleged to have defrauded Broadmoor. His misdemeanor was for signing the police departments contract. The contract was for all paid officers and it included his future salary, which was by the way less than Parenti’s and Stellini. He signed this contract based on Parenti’s instruction. Parenti was both the Chief and District Manager with years of experience under him. Connolly did sign it and ultimately paid the price for his inadvertent error. Even though the DA felt it was not intentional, he was still charged because he broke a law. The case has been adjudicated. There is a huge difference between him and the 3 crooks. They were stealing money from the citizens of Broadmoor.

  9. Doesn’t this story render Connolly a whistleblower?

    In the earlier ML article praising Parenti, it seemed like Parenti was the ML source. Was Parenti just distracting from the Connolly investigation? Was it Parenti that told Connolly to sign the budget and then Parenti turned Connolly in? Was that a setup?

    1. If Mike Connolly is a whistleblower then why was he so unconcerned about following ethics rules in becoming chief?

      1. Andrea, so it is easy for everyone to be on line talking about ethics. Have you gone to any of the Broadmoor meetings? Especially the last one. Where Connolly got up and spoke explaining what exactly happened when he did sign that document. Who approved him signing? When the sitting Chief “Parenti” & the district council tell you that you are allowed, then you should feel secure in doing so. Wrong! Connolly has been more than willing to answer any and all questions directed to him. If you really care so much he is not hard to reach out to.

        1. Why would I bother going to a meeting where the Commissioners just rubber stamp whatever the Chief wants? The department is an uninsurable mess and should be dissolved, no matter who is chief. Because there is no oversight, there’s no reason for the chiefs not to lie and steal.

          1. Andrea, frustration and anger is understandable. But you need to know where and who deserves those emotions. There is a lot of moving parts and it is not cut and dry. Connolly’s administration found the the corruption. If you don’t want to be part of the solution then you are part of the problem. Get involved! Go to the meetings! Ask questions in person!

          2. Why are we fighting about whether Connolly or his predecessors was more corrupt? Nobody who lives and pays taxes in Broadmoor cares. I’m sick of paying $450 on top of my property taxes for these clowns to do nothing but lie cheat and steal.

        1. If Connolly wasn’t also guilty, then why did he plead guilty to violating the Government Code? Why can’t his attorneys get the civil claims against him dismissed if they’re so baseless? These other employees probably also violated the Government Code with regard to CalPERS. The entire department is a lost cause and should be replaced with the Sheriff.

  10. Connolly found this disgusting fraud by the former Police Chiefs and did the right thing in asking for an audit. So Parenti’s gang took out Connolley. The BiG question …… Is D.A. Wagstaff part of Patentl’s gang?

  11. Broadmoors walls had ears and this was found to be true. Parenti’s crew knew the only possible way to save themselves against the audit and investigation was hiding behind the whistleblower status. They did not plan on Connolly standing behind his fight for justice. There are good cops and bad cops. Connolly is a true blue and so was his team. They found this fraud and they fought this fight even though their names were dragged through the mud . The Bad guys have Big Money to keep this going in litigation forever. Why? Because one they stole the citizens money and two they have a narcissist on their team!! They are pretty much suing everyone from the department to the commissioners to to a few stragglers they are not even involved! They have ruined long time friendships and they are working hard to shut down the department all because they are thieves!!! Disgusting!

  12. Aw, that is sad. But who really cares when it’s the criminal conduct involved.
    “ They have ruined long time friendships…”

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