The Pacifica Police Department posted this photo of a woman wanted in connection with pulling a fire alarm Aug. 7. The suspect has since been identified as San Francisco police Sgt. Maria Teresa Donati (Courtesy PPD via Facebook)

SFPD sergeant enters plea to charge of pulling false fire alarm

Sgt. Donati placed on six months probation, ordered to pay fines for incident at Pacifica meeting

A San Francisco police sergeant has pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge for allegedly pulling a false fire alarm at a police station in Pacifica.

Sgt. Maria Teresa Donati, 46, was placed on six-months probation and ordered to pay $372 in fines and fees on Monday after entering the plea in San Mateo County Superior Court, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office.

The San Francisco Examiner first reported on the case in August 2019 when the Pacifica Police Department posted a picture of Donati on social media asking for help identifying the woman who was seen pulling the alarm.

Multiple callers identified the woman as Donati, prosecutors said. She allegedly pulled the alarm after being turned away by the Pacifica police chief from a closed-door meeting on the growing number of RV dwellers in the area.

Donati allegedly left the station as firefighters rushed to the scene and later determined there was no emergency.

San Mateo County District Attorney Stephen Wagstaffe frowned upon the incident.

“It’s one thing when it’s a teenage prank, it’s another when it’s a law enforcement officer,” he previously told the Examiner.

Donati’s attorney Tony Brass did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Donati was hired by the San Francisco Police Department in 1995.

She earned $226,617 including benefits and overtime in 2018, according to the website Transparent California.

California law does not bar those convicted of misdemeanors from serving as peace officers.

mbarba@sfexaminer.com

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