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SFPOA splits from ex-president Gary Delagnes over remarks about Adachi

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San Francisco Police Officers Association panel member Gary Delagnes questions Police Chief Bill Scott during an arbitration hearing at the Hall of Justice on Tuesday, April 17, 2018. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

For years, the name Gary Delagnes has been synonymous with the San Francisco Police Officers Association.

But the union officially parted ways with its former president on Monday after he publicly posted on Facebook that the late Public Defender Jeff Adachi was “a serial adulterer who drove his wife to a suicide attempt.”

“Whether you agree with somebody or you don’t, you don’t jump on somebody’s casket,” SFPOA President Tony Montoya said Wednesday. “And in Tony Montoya’s world, family is off limits. There were some things that were said that I felt were out of bounds.”

Delagnes, a consultant for the union, went on the Facebook tirade less than a week after Adachi died from an apparent heart attack on Feb. 22. He doubled down on the unverified claims in a subsequent post March 2.

The union’s executive board unanimously agreed to separate from him on Monday, according to Montoya. Mission Local first reported the news.

Delganes is known as a lightning rod in local politics and has been said to bully city supervisors to vote in favor of the SFPOA.

In 2016, he called it “disgusting” when the Board of Supervisors named a day in honor of Mario Woods, a man shot and killed by police. A year earlier, he demanded that supervisors reject a resolution in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Under his leadership, Montoya said San Francisco police went from being among the lowest paid officers in the state to among the highest paid in the nation.

He has been with the San Francisco Police Department through the SFPOA or as an officer for some four decades, Montoya said.

“Gary put decades worth of his own sweat and blood into the association,” Montoya said. “The benefits my members have reaped are immeasurable.”

Montoya said the decision to separate was in part motivated by a recent health scare. Last October, Delagnes was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He has since undergone an operation that was deemed a success.

“It appears my story will have a good ending,” Delagnes wrote in the SFPOA journal this month.

Delagnes did not respond to a request for comment.

mbarba@sfexaminer.com

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