Settlement near in alleged police anti-gay attack 

After an alleged homophobic attack by San Francisco police officers, The City is preparing to settle a lawsuit out of court, but the officers involved in the case may never be fully investigated.

Andrew Marconi claims that three officers approached him when he went outside the Endup nightclub on April 18, 2005, to urinate. In his legal claim against The City, he states that Sgt. Jason Fox and officers Ian Furminger and Simon Chan uttered a series of anti-gay slurs at him.

"You peeing in my streets? Do you think I want your AIDS-infected pee in my streets, f-----?" one officer allegedly said to Marconi. The officer then allegedly forced Marconi to his knees in a puddle of urine and used his hair to wipe the urine-soaked wall, according to the complaint.

The officers hit and threatened Marconi, the complaint states, but left after Marconi’s friend showed them his Stockton Police Department badge.

The Rules Committee of the Board of Supervisors on Thursday approved an $83,000 settlement for Marconi, but it is unclear whether a complaint was ever filed with the Office of Citizen Complaints, the civilian agency charged with investigating citizen reports of police misconduct.

Because of privacy laws, police officials, police commissioners and the Office of Citizen Complaints could not confirm or deny Thursday whether a disciplinary investigation is under way into the officers’ alleged misconduct.

Even if The City faces legal action for alleged officer misconduct, the officers charged would not be disciplined unless the complaint is found to have merit in an investigation by the OCC. That investigation can only start if a complaint is filed with the agency.

While the San Francisco Police Commission insisted at its Feb. 14 meeting that an internal investigation was being conducted into the allegations against the officers in Marconi’s case, Commissioner Joe Alioto Veronese stated publicly a few days prior that the statute of limitations on the disciplinary charges had expired. City Attorney Dennis Herrera later refuted that claim.

In February, Supervisors Tom Ammiano and Bevan Dufty introduced legislation that would require the City Attorney’s Office to forward claims of police misconduct to the Office of Citizen Complaints.

The City Attorney’s Office is charged with sending information on the OCC to claimants, but spokesman Matt Dorsey said they have not been doing so in every case, including Marconi’s.

"This was an administrative provision that, quite honestly, fell through the cracks in terms of us sending the required form letter," Dorsey said. "We made a mistake, we’ll correct it going forward and we’ll send letters to past claimants."

"The supervisors feel, in general, very distressed by this case," Ammiano said Thursday. "[We’re] hoping that both the OCC and the Police Commission will look at remedies so this kind of [police] behavior is minimized in the future and that there are consequences."

"We are working with the department and the commission to make sure that complaints of misconduct, however they’re filed, are being investigated," OCC attorney Jean Field said.

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