From: President Tony Montoya
The truest test of any person’s character is to watch their words and actions when times are tough, when the chips are down. It is during a crisis, whether real or self-made, that one’s character, values, and personal accountability are on full display.
Yesterday, SFPD Chief William Scott showed everyone in the SFPD, and all San Franciscans, what his character consists of and it was a pathetic, deceitful and shameful display of self-preservation, finger pointing, and political kowtowing. We all deserve better.
The investigation into whomever disseminated the initial Adachi police report is a righteous one and whomever is responsible should be held accountable. What we know is that Chief Scott ordered that investigation. Chief Scott not only followed every twist and turn of the investigation but he knew every element of the investigation, directed the investigation and has clearly either come down with the most debilitating case of amnesia or is flat out not telling the truth about his direct involvement and the horribly flawed direction he gave to find the leak of the police report.
In either case, it is time for Chief Scott to go.
Some simple facts about this case:
- This was a Chief’s level investigation and was initiated by the Chief.
- The Chief was actively involved in directing the investigation, and was extensively briefed. He was entirely in the loop. Period.
- The Chief knew of Carmody’s press status.
- The Chief’s office issues press credentials and Carmody had one.
- The Chief did not disclose to the author of the search warrant about Mr. Carmody’s press status. Had he done so, the Sergeant who wrote the search warrant would have followed protocols. The Sergeant was deceived by the Chief.
A true leader accepts responsibility. Chief Scott oversaw and ordered the investigation and raid of a journalist’s home, and then when the optics did not go his way, he threw the men and women who carried out his orders under a double-decker bus. His apology to the media was clearly meant for him to save face as opposed to accept responsibility for his own actions. Shameful.
President Harry Truman had a sign on his desk that read “The Buck Stops Here.” Chief Scott has passed the buck so far he would make Joe Montana jealous. For Chief Scott, the buck is really .25¢ and stops anyplace but his desk. His finger pointing, diversion, and lack of accepting personal responsibility for his actions must have had Truman rolling over in his grave. And his behavior should concern every member of the police department and all San Franciscans who deserve to have an honest broker as our chief.
Remember, Chief Scott was for the search warrant of the journalist’s home before he was against it. He defended the search warrant in a trial balloon press release just days ago and when that balloon exploded he flip-flopped to being opposed to the search warrant. Not quite a profile in courage.
Chief Scott’s request for an outside agency to investigate the investigation is mind-boggling. It is a diversion to take our eyes away from his culpability. We believe there should be an investigation of Chief Scott and that he should be afforded the same courtesy his rank and file are provided. He should be immediately placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation. During that time, he should muster up the personal fortitude to do the right thing and resign.
Remember, the truest test of character is not whether or not one makes a mistake. We all make mistakes. It is what you do after you make a mistake. Do you take responsibility? Do you apologize and make amends? Do you vow not to repeat the mistake? And do you accept the appropriate consequences for the mistake? Chief Scott has failed the character test. It is time for him to go.