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Charges Dropped Against SF Chief

March 12, 2003  | 

The district attorney dropped all charges against San Francisco Police Chief Earl Sanders and his top assistant, saying he couldn't prove they participated in the cover-up of a street brawl involving off-duty police officers.

District Attorney Terence Hallinan said he was dropping felony counts of conspiracy to obstruct justice against Sanders and Assistant Chief Alex Fagan Sr., altough he thinks the grand jury correctly implicated them in the decision to remove an investigator from an internal department probe.

Hallinan said he would still prosecute others charged in the case. Five police commanders still face conspiracy charges, adn three rookie officers are charged with felony assault for allegedly attacking two men Nov. 20 over their bag of steak fajitas.

All the officers have pleaded innocent. One of those charged with assault is Alex Fagan Jr., the assistant chief's son.

After he was indicted, Chief Sanders took medical leave for his high blood pressure. It is not clear whether he or Fagan will return to duty at the department.

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