Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Lucky George: Incoming San Francisco Police Chief Says He Was About to be Canned From Old Job

Posted By on Wed, Jul 22, 2009 at 10:59 AM

click to enlarge George Gascon
  • George Gascon
Incoming San Francisco Police Chief George Gascon -- the subject of this week's SF Weekly cover story -- is certainly walking into a dicey situation in his avowed attempts to shake up San Francisco's problematic police department. But it's better than filing for unemployment, which he confirmed was imminent in his current post as police chief of Mesa, Ariz.

Gascon told the East Valley Tribune that he had been informed, in no uncertain terms, that his days as Mesa's chief were numbered: "I was not pressured to resign," said the chief. "I was told I would get terminated." Mesa city officials denied that they had bluntly told Gascon the heave-ho was imminent.

At issue was Gascon's April testimony before Congress in which he argued that local police agencies should not be utilized as de-facto immigration agents -- and directly criticized the heavy-handed policies of Maricopa County, Ariz. Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Gascon's trip to Washington, D.C. came under further scrutiny when it was revealed that he accepted a plane ticket from an immigrant rights group; he subsequently paid the money back.

Gascon is scheduled to be sworn in as San Francisco's chief early next month. While he told the East Valley Tribune that he believes this job to be a rung up on the career ladder, it wasn't simple striving that induced him to leave Mesa. The controversy surrounding his Congressional testimony forced Gascon to take "a hard look" at his position in Arizona -- and spurred his move west.

"There's no question that this new opportunity was extremely
appealing to me, but there's also no question that events unfolded here
that accelerated my desire to move elsewhere," he said.

  • Pin It

Tags: , , , , ,

About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" is a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly, which he has written for since 2007. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers... more


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • Jack White at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium
    Jack White and his band performed at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium on Friday and Saturday nights in front of sold out audiences. Jack entertained his fans with music that included songs from his days with The White Stripes, and The Raconteurs, as well as hits from his solo albums; Blunderbuss and Lazaretto. Photography by Sugarwolf.
  • San Francisco Street Food Festival 2014
    The San Francisco Street Food Festival was another success this year. Dozens of vendors with original, unheard-of creations, such as deep fried mac and cheese on a stick, black pea paste pancakes, and Korean quesadillas. Then there was the comfort foods we've grown accustomed to, like creme bruleé, shrimp rolls, and pound cake. Photographs by Mabel Jimenez.