Lee was tasked with picking the department’s top cop in January after outgoing Mayor Gavin Newsom picked former Chief George Gascon to take over the position of district attorney for Kamala Harris, who was elected the state’s attorney general.
Gascon’s second-in-command, Jeff Godown, was named interim chief, and earlier this month the city’s Police Commission submitted three recommendations for the permanent position to Lee.
According to the city charter, the mayor can choose one of the commission’s recommendations or reject them all and start the process anew.
Lee, who spoke with reporters this afternoon at an unrelated event outside the Ferry Building, said he has started interviewing the candidates, but still has follow-up interviews to do, and also wants to meet with commission members to discuss the matter.
Lee and the commission have not released the names of the three candidates or whether Godown is one of them.
The mayor did say today that he is “concerned about how certain things have occurred in the last month,” a reference to the release of several videos by the office of Public Defender Jeff Adachi that he says show misconduct by police officers during drug busts around the city.
A total of 83 drug and robbery cases have been dismissed due to the videos, which appear to show conflicting information between police reports and what is seen in the footage.
“I want to make sure that we have plans for whoever is selected to be able to respond and correct those things that we’ve seen,” Lee said.
“I want to make sure this Police Department has absolutely no doubt in people’s minds that they’re doing the right thing,” he said.
Dan McMenamin, Bay City News