SFPD officer dodges discipline through retirement

There’s more than one way to beat a disciplinary charge in front of the woefully backlogged Police Commission: Officer Michael D. Maxwell managed to wait it out.

Maxwell faced five charges in front of the Police Commission, the earliest of which stems back to March 2004, when Maxwell was accused of bringing discredit to the Police Department after he was caught in a shoplifting scheme.

Later that year, the Police Commission charged him in another embarrassing incident in which Maxwell allegedly threatened someone who threw some liquid into his car.

The other three accusations are confidential, thanks to a 2006 California Supreme Court decision, known as the Copley decision, which made peace officer personnel records private.

But more than five years after the first charges were leveled against the officer, the Police Commission is looking to drop them all. Apparently, Maxwell retired in August, so it’s a little too late to discipline him.

If he ever applies to the Police Department again, however, there may be trouble.

“Said disciplinary charges will be placed back on calendar should said member be within the jurisdiction of the Police Commission in the future,” reads this week’s agenda.

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