In one fell swoop at 10 this morning, Mayor Ed Lee is scheduled to, per his calendar sent to media “announce and swear in new SFPD Chief of Police” from the Mayor’s Balcony in City Hall. But the cat’s out of the bag: as reported by the Chron, SFPD’s new top cop is 30 year veteran of the force Captain Greg Suhr.

Suhr, who worked most recently in the Bayview District, “has been described as popular among officers,” reports CBS5 and was, says the Ex, the police union’s favorite for the position.

He’s also had what the Ex describes as “a long and sometimes-rocky road” of a career, including a 2003 obstruction of justice charge over his role in the “Fajitagate” scandal, a 2005 reassignment to do security for the Public Utilities Commission after an officer was injured policing a protest, and a 2009 demotion after he didn’t follow protocols in reporting the domestic violence attack of a friend. He was also, notes the Chron, named in a wrongful death lawsuit after a man died while in custody.

Despite these problems, Suhr’s appointment was praised Tuesday by Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, who told ABC7 that “I also believe in the power of redemption when somebody has been such a long time public servant and I think that Greg Suhr has proved himself over the years as well as any of those kind of transgressions and I think he’ll be a solid police chief.”

Lee appears to agree, telling the Chron that “Greg Suhr’s history is an open book. Like all of us, he’s made some decisions that he would have made differently in hindsight, but he’s recovered from them and done really well.”

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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

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