A Richmond police captain with more than two decades on the force was fired a day before Thanksgiving in connection with a misconduct investigation.
The termination of Capt. Mark Gagan on Nov. 22 reportedly came after Councilman Eduardo Martinez complained of a leaked police report that became the subject of an KGO-TV story questioning Martinez’s sobriety during a reported robbery.
The television report in November 2016 said that a Richmond Police Department report suggested Martinez “may have been under the influence of alcohol when he drove a city vehicle from the crime scene to a nearby hotel.”
Martinez, who was coming from a Chamber of Commerce event, said in the TV report that while he drank alcohol the night he was robbed, he “was not incoherent.”
The councilman said he lost his phone during the incident and drove a city car to the nearest place to call police. Martinez did not return calls from The Chronicle.
The department investigated the alleged leak of the police report to the television station. Gagan was accused of lying during questioning.
“I told the truth. I’ve told the truth in all the interviews, and I have not lied,” Gagan said Friday. “For me to be accused of that is devastating. I’m so sure that when this is reviewed by an objective body, it will be overturned.”
Gagan’s attorney, Paul Bird, would not comment on the investigation so as not to “jeopardize the appeals process,” but said he and Gagan “strongly deny” any allegations that led to Gagan’s firing.
“He’s a 23-year veteran. He loved his job,” Bird said. “We’re going to fight to get his job back.”
Bird said they will present their case to the city and appeal the termination decision.
Neither the city nor the Police Department would confirm the details or the origin of the investigation.
“The investigation is still open, and due to the nature of it being a personnel matter, we cannot discuss it,” Lt. Felix Tan, a department spokesman, wrote in an email.
The Chronicle obtained a copy of the city’s termination letter sent to Gagan on Nov. 22.
Gagan and his attorney met with Police Chief Allwyn Brown Nov. 7 to present Gagan’s side, according to the letter.
Brown “determined that the proposed termination of employment is appropriate,” the letter read.
The robbery reportedly tied to the misconduct investigation occurred Oct. 26, 2016. Police initially reported a “member of the Richmond City Council” met with officers shortly after 9:45 p.m. after he was robbed by someone with a pistol.
Officers later tracked down the suspect, whose name was not released. He was charged in connection with the incident five days later.
Jenna Lyons,, sfgate,com, “Richmond police captain will appeal his firing in misconduct case”, https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Richmond-police-captain-will-appeal-his-firing-in-12477671.php