sfpd_cityhall.jpgAfter a brief in today’s Ex reported that “the San Francisco police internal affairs unit is conducting a major investigation within the department,” the SFPD appears to be mounting a full court press to convince the media and, by extension, the public that that’s actually not the case.

The report from Brent Begin, which was picked up by local broadcast news (I saw it on KTVU and KRON this morning), said that on Wednesday, police Chief George Gascon told the Police Officers Association’s Board of Directors that SFPD’s internal affairs unit was investigating possible “money laundering and the possible distribution of narcotics, according to sources.”

SFPD responded by sending a press release to media entitled “Misleading Media Report,” which seemed to suggest that the Ex reporter had misunderstood Gascon’s remarks to the POA, saying that “the Chief, using examples of recently investigated cases and other cases, stated that the unit would be investigating cases involving allegations of serious criminal misconduct such as money laundering and narcotics distribution.”

Gascon also said as much to the Chron, which reported that Gascon “may have suggested the existence of such an ongoing probe…But, he now says, he was actually talking about individual cases of past suspected misconduct among officers, not of a full-scale probe now underway.” Gascon’s denial of any sort of investigation was dutifully reported by ABC7, as well.

The Begin, on the Ex’s site, has since posted an update, which notes that the meeting he reported on “was closed to the public and Gascón’s words were leaked to The Examiner and confirmed by someone on the Board of Directors who was at the meeting. A message on Gascón’s cell phone on Wednesday, an open line to reporters seeking confirmation on stories such as this, was never returned.”

It is all very intriguing! I think you should click on all those links, read everything, and tell me what you think. Come on, it’s Friday at 2:30, what else do you have to do?

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the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at eve@sfappeal.com.

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