A former San Francisco police attorney filed a wrongful termination lawsuit Wednesday against Chief Greg Suhr, saying she was fired in 2011 after putting together a case to terminate Suhr when he was deputy chief.
The suit was filed Wednesday in San Francisco Superior Court by Kelly O’Haire, who worked for the Police Department as an attorney responsible for investigating and prosecuting disciplinary cases against officers and other department employees.
S.F. ex-police lawyer sues over firing [Chron
According to the lawsuit, in 2009, O’Haire filed a motion for disciplinary action against Suhr, who had responded to a domestic violence call involving a friend and then violated state law and department policy by initially failing to report the incident.
The perpetrator was later charged with attempted murder in the case, the lawsuit states.
The lawsuit claims that as O’Haire sought the action against Suhr, she received a call from an attorney with the San Francisco Police Officers Association who said she was “going to be sorry” if she continued pursuing the case.
Suhr was demoted and eventually suspended for the incident, but was later appointed police chief in April 2011 after then-Chief George Gascon was named district attorney.
Less than a month after Suhr became chief, O’Haire was laid off in what the lawsuit said was “retaliation for her work … that sought to discipline Chief Suhr for serious violations.”
O’Haire is seeking compensatory damages from the city of San Francisco for lost wages and emotional distress, as well as reinstatement to her position.
The Police Department issued a statement late Wednesday saying the lawsuit is “without merit.”
The statement reads, “In order to close a budget shortfall, a reorganization of the department was completed resulting in excess of $1 million in savings. Several positions were eliminated, including that of Ms. O’Haire, as well as the reclassification of top command staff.”
Dan McMenamin, Bay City News