Gascón denies internal investigation

Police Chief George Gascón vehemently denied that a major investigation was taking place at the Police Department involving narcotics and money laundering, claiming his words Wednesday to the San Francisco Police Officer’s Association Board of Directors were taken out of context.

The San Francisco Examiner reported that Gascón told the executive board of the union that a major investigation was under way involving the newly created internal affairs unit. But in a statement Friday morning, spokeswoman Lt. Lyn Tomioka called the report “misinformed.”

“In his discussion, the Chief, using examples of recently investigated cases and other cases, stated that the unit would be investigating cases involving allegations of serious criminal misconduct such as money laundering and narcotics distribution,” the statement said.

However, according to The Chronicle, who spoke with Gascón on Friday morning, “The chief told The Chronicle, however, that he may have suggested the existence of such an ongoing probe at an executive meeting of the police union board on Wednesday.”

To set the record straight, the meeting was closed to the public and Gascón’s words were leaked to The Examiner and confirmed by someone on the Board of Directors who was at the meeting. A message on Gascón’s cell phone on Wednesday, an open line to reporters seeking confirmation on stories such as this, was never returned.

Tomioka said Gascón did not return the call because he was sick.

bbegin@sfexaminer.com

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