Police Commission President Suzy Loftus stands with Mayor Ed Lee and Acting Chief Toney Chaplin. (Emma Chiang/Special to S.F. Examiner)

Mayor has yet to choose SF’s next police chief

With the long Thanksgiving weekend one day away, Mayor Ed Lee has yet to choose which of the three police chief candidates forwarded to him 21 days ago will be San Francisco’s next top cop.

Lee’s spokesperson Deirdre Hussey said Wednesday the mayor has yet to make his choice, but Lee told KTVU on Tuesday that he expects to make his choice before the end of the year.

SEE RELATED: Chaplin among 11 finalists in SFPD chief search

The Police Commission sent Lee three candidates Nov. 2, but kept the names secret.

The commission was tasked with choosing three candidates to forward to the mayor, who makes the final choice. Lee can pick one of the names or send all three back and force the commission to go about the closed door process again.

SEE RELATED: Ad backing acting SFPD chief attacked as interfering with search process

The recent resignation Victor Hwang from the commission could impact the commission’s choice if there is a second round of candidates. Hwang was elected by San Francisco voters Nov. 7 to fill a vacant Superior Court judge seat.

“If he rejects all three candidates, we start all over,” said Commissioner Petra DeJesus, who added that could mean creating a whole new criteria for the next batch of candidates they give Lee.

SEE RELATED: SFPD chief job listing with few details taken down days after posting

But Hwang and DeJesus, who have both told the San Francisco Examiner that the commission forwarded three “highly qualified candidates,” said they would be troubled if Lee sent back the finalists.

The commission hired a search firm in July

The process has been marred by missteps and rumors that the process is rigged in favor of Acting Chief Toney Chaplin, who is backed by the San Francisco Police Officers Association and former Chief Greg Suhr, who resigned in May after the third fatal police shooting in five months.

SEE RELATED: SF won’t require its next chief to have a BA

Whomever is chosen will oversee a long list of reforms set out by the federal review of the department, as well as several other critical inquiries that have been done this year.

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