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SF police apologize for Jeff Adachi leaks as investigation continues

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As San Francisco police continue to investigate who prematurely leaked a police report on the death Public Defender Jeff Adachi, a new allegation was revealed at a Board of Supervisors hearing that a freelance journalist was shopping around the police report to media outlets.

Hadi Razzaq, managing attorney for the investigation’s unit for the Public Defender’s Office, said at the committee hearing on Thursday that an investigator with his office, Jackson Holland, spoke to a KRON-TV reporter who had told Holland that a “stringer” was selling the police report for $2,500 each.

Holland had the conversation with the reporter near the location where Adachi had been last seen before his death, and was given the KRON reporter’s business card.

Holland informed Razzaq, chief attorney for the Public Defender’s Office Matt Gonzalez, and Deputy Public Defender at the time, Manohar Raju, of the conversation with the KRON reporter.

Razzaq said Holland then wrote a memo to SFPD on March 4 about the discussion with the KRON reporter. On March 12, SFPD had called for the name of the KRON reporter and it was given.

SFPD Acting Captain Bill Braconi for the risk management division, said he was aware of the memo, but could not provide further details as the police are still investigating the premature leak of the police report to the media.

While there were no new details of the ongoing investigation shared at the committee hearing called by Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer, SFPD Commander Greg McEachern did offer the Police Department’s apology to the Adachi family:

“On behalf of chief Scott and the Police Department, I apologize, we apologize to the Adachi family.”

The apology came before Supervisor Hillary Ronen blasted the Police Department at the hearing who believes the leak of the report was politically motivated to the public defender and believes that the leak of report destroys the trust between the department and the public:

“It absolutely erodes the public trust in the Police Department in your ability to be objective, in your ability to serve the community in a way that we can rely on and depend on.”

Ronen added:

“To have that kind of maligning going of a public official in San Francisco is disgusting.”

Mutsuko Adachi, the wife of Jeff, spoke at hearing and said:

“It was despicable what the Police Department did to myself and my daughter by releasing the police report.”

She added:

“To say it affects the family is an understatement. It is incredibly painful to have the Police Department do this to you.”

Braconi said he hopes to complete the investigation within weeks, not months. There is an ongoing criminal and administrative investigation.

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