Officer in charge of evidence accused of theft

A San Francisco police officer assigned to handle evidence will be arraigned today for allegedly stealing from the department and doctoring reports to hide the crime.

Officer Michelle Alvis, a five-year veteran of the Police Department, was assigned as the Taraval Station manager — a job that involved documenting evidence being sent to police headquarters — after her involvement in a fatal 2006 officer-involved shooting. She was arrested Friday and released on bail after a grand jury indictment of grand theft involving an incident on Oct. 31, 2006.

Although a grand jury indictment that details the charges is sealed, a brief police incident report accuses Alvis of grand theft, filing a false report, preparing false documentary evidence and two counts of willful loss or destruction of records by officer entrusted.

A conviction of grand theft alone could result in a sentence of three years in prison, depending on the value of the goods stolen.

While the Police Department and the District Attorney’s Office declined to comment on the specifics of the indictment, the president of San Francisco’s police union, Gary Delagnes, expressed doubt that an officer in her position would steal from the department when all fingers would point back in her direction.

“This is a question of on-duty conduct and she’s one ofour members, so we’ll stand by her as this thing plays out,” Delagnes said. “I guess the grand jury must have seen something.”

This is not the first time Alvis has been the center of controversy. Six months before the alleged theft, on June 6, 2006, Alvis shot and killed 25-year-old Asa Sullivan in the attic of a Villas Parkmerced apartment.

At the time of the shooting, Alvis was accompanied by Officer John Keesor, who had fired the first shot because he said Sullivan was holding a “cylindrical item” that later was determined to be an eyeglass case, according to police.

The bullet ricocheted and hit Alvis’ ear and she fired, according to the police account. Sullivan was shot 16 times, according to the medical examiner’s report. Police have yet to release incident reports related to the officer-involved shooting. Sullivan’s family is suing the department in federal court for $10 million.

Alvis’ attorney, Lydia Stiglich, did not return calls late Monday afternoon for comment.

bbegin@examiner.com

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