A former San Francisco police officer has filed a whistleblower lawsuit against The City of San Francisco and the police chief alleging that she suffered retaliation for turning in a dirty cop, reports KTVU.
Pat Burley, an officer with the San Francisco Police Department for 22 years, claimed she was forced to retire after raising concerns about an officer embezzling money.
Burley was a board member of the department's Pride Alliance for LGBT officers and had suspicions that a fellow officer, Mike Evans, was embezzling money. Evans was suspected of stealing thousands of dollars while serving as the organization's treasurer.
Burley and others brought the issue of the missing money to the attention of the group's president, Lt. Chuck Limbert, but say he ordered them not to the report the crime. She then raised her concerns to the department's Internal Affairs division.
Evans paid back the money and resigned from the police force, but Burley and others thought he should face charges and that's where the case stalled.
Frustrated with the way the investigation was being handled, Burley decided to detail the allegations with KTVU and asked them to conceal her identity.
Instead of being rewarded for exposing a bad cop, Burley became the target of an internal affairs investigation and was questioned about talking to the press.
"They showed me the video, inquired if it was me. I said it was not me because I feared I would lose my job. I would be terminated. I would lose my pension. I could lose my benefits," said Burley.
She knew lying could lead to discipline, but she didn't think it would end her career.
In February, a year after KTVU aired the story on the embezzlement scandal and four months after Evans was eventually booked on felony embezzlement and felony grand theft, Burley was informed the department was pursuing the misconduct case against her.
She was told the matter would be referred to The San Francisco Police Commission for disciplinary action, including possible termination, but that San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr would agree to dismiss the discipline if Burley agreed to retire early. She took up the chief on his offer and retired on March 22nd.
Burley said she spoke out because she felt she had to. When Burley was asked if she would have come forward, knowing the outcome, she replied, "I would have spoken out, yes."