X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
District Attorney Terence Hallinan could be on the witness stand Tuesday to testify about his actions surrounding the indictment of San Francisco Police Chief Earl Sanders. An attorney for Sanders, San Francisco solo Philip Ryan, said Friday he was subpoenaing Hallinan, former Chief Assistant DA Paul Cummins, who is now head of the office’s criminal division, Assistant DA Albert Murray, Assistant DA David Pfeifer, and the office’s public information officer, Mark MacNamara. Late Friday, it wasn’t clear if the DA or any of his staff had received subpoenas; Hallinan and his office refused comment on the possibility of testifying. The subpoenas are part of Sanders’ effort to have his record cleared now that charges of felony conspiracy to obstruct justice in the so-called “Fajita-gate” scandal have been dismissed. Sanders wants to be declared “factually innocent” and have his arrest record in the incident destroyed, according to a motion Ryan filed two weeks ago. Forcing Hallinan to the witness stand is the latest legal tug-of-war stemming from a November street brawl involving three off-duty officers and two civilians that allegedly began over a bag of fajitas. Sanders was one of seven ranking officers indicted for allegedly trying to impede an investigation into the incident. All seven saw the charges against them dismissed by either the district attorney or Superior Court Judge Kay Tsenin. The trio involved in the street incident — Officers Alex Fagan Jr., Matthew Tonsing and David Lee — still face felony assault charges. To avoid testifying at an evidentiary hearing on Sanders’ motion, Hallinan need only stipulate to Sanders’ request that he be declared factually innocent, Ryan wrote in a letter delivered to Hallinan on July 7. “If they stipulate, then we don’t go forward,” Ryan said Friday. Ryan said he believes forcing Hallinan and his lieutenants to testify would bolster his allegations that the district attorney knew the police chief had not committed a crime and that the DA ignored the advice of his staff, who told him his handling of the chief was improper, unethical and illegal. The evidentiary hearing on Ryan’s motion is scheduled for Tuesday, but could be pushed back. The DA has filed a motion to continue, which Ryan has opposed. Prosecutors had not filed a response to Ryan’s motion, nor responded to his letter, by Friday afternoon, the defense attorney said. Meanwhile, court documents filed by prosecutors say that the defense attorneys for Tonsing, Lee and Fagan Jr. are also looking to pull the grand jury’s forewoman onto the witness stand. Defense attorneys James Collins, Freya Horne and Mark Nicco have filed a motion to dismiss their clients’ charges and another seeking information about any conversations between prosecutors and the grand jury that have not previously been transcribed or forwarded in discovery. “Though there is no new information which proves that any further communications between the grand jury and the district attorney took place, a recent statement from the grand jury foreperson certainly infers to the existence of such conversations,” the motion says. When questioned by a defense investigator, forewoman Virginia Staab would neither confirm nor deny if she’d had unrecorded discussions with prosecutors, defense counsel wrote. According to court documents filed by prosecutors, those defense attorneys have been trying to subpoena Staab. In an e-mail to The Recorder, Staab — who no longer lives in San Francisco — said she has heard from many people that she will be subpoenaed, but “I have not yet been served.”

This content has been archived. It is available exclusively through our partner LexisNexis®.

To view this content, please continue to Lexis Advance®.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber? Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® is now the exclusive third party online distributor of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® customers will be able to access and use ALM's content by subscribing to the LexisNexis® services via Lexis Advance®. This includes content from the National Law Journal®, The American Lawyer®, Law Technology News®, The New York Law Journal® and Corporate Counsel®, as well as ALM's other newspapers, directories, legal treatises, published and unpublished court opinions, and other sources of legal information.

ALM's content plays a significant role in your work and research, and now through this alliance LexisNexis® will bring you access to an even more comprehensive collection of legal content.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]

 
 

ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2020 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.