Interest charge

Former Broadmoor police chief does not dispute conflict of interest charge

BROADMOOR – The former Broadmoor Police Department chief has not disputed a conflict of interest charge stemming from allegations he illegally remained a member of the town’s police commission while applying for the post of chief, participated in the selection process and voted on his own raise, prosecutors said.

In June, the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office charged Michael Patrick Connolly, 56, with three breaches of government codes prohibiting a public official from having a financial interest in a contract he decides on and from influencing. a government decision while having a personal stake.

Prosecutors said two of the charges were dismissed on Monday in a negotiated plea. Specifically, Connolly did not challenge the “vote on a government decision in which he had a financial interest”.

Connolly’s attorney, Stephen Sutro, declined to comment on the plea.

The court placed Connolly under one year of conditional probation at 30 hours of public service work and ordered him to pay $ 235 in fines and costs. In addition, he is prohibited from holding elected office or acting as a lobbyist for a period of four years.

As chief, Connolly was one of eight full-time officers in the town of about 5,000. Surrounded by Daly City and technically an unincorporated part of the county, the town is the last remaining jurisdiction in the state which uses a tax-funded special police protection district, which on Broadmoor is overseen by a commission of three members made up of city residents. Connolly stepped down as chef in June.

The criminal investigation was sparked in part by a complaint from the state’s Fair Political Practices Commission that alleged Connolly regularly engaged in abuse of power and cronyism. Prosecutors, however, focused on his actions while on the police commission, as a city resident and recently retired deputy chief of the San Francisco Police Department.

In a previous interview with this news agency, District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said the accusations stemmed from Connolly not resigning from the commission in March 2019 once he decided he was interested in the post of chief.

Connolly also participated in the search and selection discussions and pleaded for an unorganized vote on the decision that would lead to his appointment. This was a violation of Brown’s Law, which governs open public meetings of legislative bodies and requires the public to be informed sufficiently in advance of matters put to a vote.

A month after the rest of the committee voted 2-0 to appoint him leader, but before he officially took the post, Connolly remained a member of the committee and participated in discussions involving increasing the budget of the police, including his salary.

Wagstaffe said the investigation ultimately concluded that Connolly had not intentionally broken the law.

“I think it was done in the dark,” Wagstaffe said of Connolly’s actions. “But ignorance of the law is no excuse.”