Sit-lie supporter cop campaigning in uniform

The folks behind Proposition L, the sit-lie law known as Civil Sidewalks, produced a video you can check out here that includes testimonials from business owners, elected officials and city employees.

Police Chief George Gascon, Assistant District Attorney Paul Henderson, and Supervisors Carmen Chu and Michela Alioto-Pier all walk the fine line of endorsing the ballot initiative by doing their interviews off city property.

But when it comes time for an endorsement from former Park Station Capt. Teresa “Teri” Barrett, the rules that govern how a city employee can exercise their First Amendment rights while not using taxpayer resources go right out the window.

You see, Barrett is in uniform when she endorses the sit-lie law.

“Civil sidewalks pretty much says it all,” she says.

But a memo sent out by the City Attorney’s Office on Aug. 20 to all department heads says that any political activity by city officers and employees cannot be done while in uniform.

“City officers and employees may not participate in political activities of any kind while in uniform,” the memo reads. “City officers or employees are in uniform any time they are wearing all or any part of a uniform that they are required or authorized to wear when engaged in official duties.”

Ethics Director John St. Croix confirmed the prohibition on campaigning in uniform, and said that a violation would most likely result in a warning.

-Brent Begin

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