POA consultant to ‘move on’ after blowup over Mario Woods day of remembrance

The decision to name a day in San Francisco in honor of Mario Woods pushed Gary Delagnes, a consultant for the Police Officers Association, to issue a stern rebuke of the Board of Supervisors.

Delagnes, former president of the police union and a retired officer, said he is “moving on” after the board voted Tuesday to create a day of remembrance on July 22 for Woods, the 26­-year-old man who was shot and killed by police in the Bayview last month.

“Yesterday when I learned of this vote something finally died in me,” Delagnes wrote Wednesday in a Facebook post. “It is time to move on. I have done my best but no matter what we do we can’t do it alone.”

Delagnes and the POA did not return calls to comment on this story. It’s unclear if Delagnes meant he would resign from the POA or move on beyond the Woods issue.

“This is, without a doubt, the most disgusting, idiotic, and pathetic legislation I have ever seen in my 35 years of POA involvement,” he wrote. “To honor a street thug who stabbed another African American is so far over the top I am speechless.”

In his post, Delagnes said the five officers who opened fire on Woods are not doing well.

“I do not blame the Board of Supervisors,” Delagnes said, before calling on citizens to attend board meetings and speak out against supervisors. “They are idiots and this is what they do.”

Delagnes is a high­-profile member of the union who was the highest paid trustee of the police association earning $81,009 in 2013, according to the POA’s most recent tax forms.

The political consultant has earned a reputation among city supervisors as a bully.

About a year ago, the San Francisco Examiner learned Delagnes sent emails to supervisors opposing a resolution in support of Black Lives Matter that would ask the U.S. Department of Justice to review the police department’s use­-of­-force policies. If the supervisors voted for the resolution, they would lose the future support of the police union, Delagnes said.

After the email exchange, Supervisor Malia Cohen went from co­-sponsoring the resolution to voting against it.

It was later discovered that Delagnes was not registered as a lobbyist at the time. As a result, he was fined more than $5,000 for his actions, but the POA footed the bill.

On Tuesday, the entire board voted in support of a resolution that said it is “committed to meaningful police reform” and more critical of police practices in The City, apologizing to the mother of Woods for how she has been treated since the death of her son.

To compound the matter for the POA, supervisors Jane Kim, London Breed and Cohen all said they would not be swayed by the repeated letters from the police union against the resolution.

The most recent letter from the POA to Breed, which was authored by union head Martin Halloran, called the resolution “completely inappropriate” and pointed to the police account of Woods printed in the San Francisco Chronicle, which characterized Woods as a convicted armed robber and gang member.

Cohen referred to such letters as “attacks of the POA.” Kim called them “intimidation tactics.” And board President Breed said no mother should have to lose their child to gun violence, “which is why we won’t be intimidated by the POA or anyone else.”

Kim went one step further, saying, “I don’t believe that the POA is actually representative of their officers,” calling the POA “bullies.”

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Gary DelagnesMario WoodsPoliticsSan Francisco Police DepartmentSan Francisco Police Officer's Association

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