May 30, 2024
Association to discuss a ‘possible takeover’ by the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office.

BROADMOOR – The future of the state’s last active police protection district is in jeopardy.

On Thursday, the Broadmoor Property Owners Association is slated to discuss the “potential dissolution” of the scandal-plagued Broadmoor Police Department and a “possible takeover” by the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office, according to the association’s website.

Broadmoor police Chief Michael Connolly and a sheriff’s office spokesman did not respond to requests for comment.

Association President Christine Taliva’a Aguerre said the association had no comment at this time.

When asked by news website Mission Local if the department was dissolving, Connolly said “not necessarily,” but he also said the agency is in talks with the county and the sheriff’s office.

Formed in 1948, the Broadmoor Police Protection District provides police services to a roughly half-square-mile area that includes Broadmoor Village and unincorporated pockets of Colma and Daly City. It is overseen by a three-member commission.

A study released by a county commission last November found that the district had significant budget deficits in five of the previous six years for a total loss of $1.4 million.

The same study recommended merging the district with Daly City, which it called the “logical service provider,” or contracting with another local public safety agency.

The commission in June approved a $3.33 million budget with a projected deficit of $355,000.

Earlier this month, Connolly proposed increasing a supplemental parcel tax by 5% to help offset the shortfall. That tax, along with property taxes and excess educational revenue augmentation funds, is a primary revenue source.

In a report to the commission, Connolly blamed the deficit on “increased insurance premiums and legal costs due to ongoing frivolous litigation, actions and tactics hurled at the district by persons, essentially terminated employees and volunteers, who neither reside nor have any cognizable interest in the district.”

Connolly did not specifically name the employees or volunteers, but former chief David Parenti appears to be among them. Litigation involving Parenti is listed as a closed session item on past commission agendas.

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System, or CalPERS, is seeking the return of $1.8 million in retirement benefits Parenti collected while working full-time for Broadmoor, according to the Sacramento Bee. Under state law, a retired recipient cannot work full time for a government entity that pays CalPERS benefits.

Another former chief, Gregory Love, has been charged with collecting around $700,000 in retirement benefits while continuing to serve on the force. He pleaded not guilty in May. Parenti did not face similar charges because prosecutors only learned of his alleged violations in 2021 — more than four years after CalPERs received a complaint that he was double-dipping, and past the statute of limitations.

The department has seen other scandals, including one involving Connolly. In 2021, he pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor conflict-of-interest charge stemming from allegations he illegally remained on the commission while applying for the chief job, participated in the selection process and voted on his own raise.

Connolly, who resigned from the department, served one year of probation and was rehired this year.

County Supervisor David Canepa said he learned Friday that the department was on the verge of not being able to pay its employees and could run out of money by the end of the month.

If the department folds, the sheriff’s office will step in to provide services, he said.

“I want to make it very clear that 9-1-1 calls will be answered due to the Broadmoor Police Department’s potential inability to do so,” Canepa said in statement Tuesday afternoon. “The county is ready to respond to any emergency and calls for service to ensure the residents of Broadmoor are protected while the Broadmoor Police Protection District’s elected commission deals with its financial crisis.”

San Mateo Countty District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe, whose office is prosecuting Love, said in a message that he did not have first-hand knowledge about the situation. His main concern, he noted, is being able to track down the witnesses and officers he needs to move forward with 134 misdemeanor and 16 felony cases from the police department.

“I have to make sure we have all of that if things don’t go the way they want,” he said.

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This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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