A Richmond police captain was fired late last year following the leak of a police report to the media that claimed a city councilman may have been driving while intoxicated on the night that he was robbed at gunpoint in 2016, according to an exclusive report by the East Bay Times.
Capt. Mark Gagan, a veteran of the department, was fired on Nov. 22 for reportedly lying during an internal investigation into the incident involving Councilman Eduardo Martinez, a member of the Richmond Progressive Alliance, according to EBT.
The firing comes after an incident on Oct. 26, 2016, when Martinez was robbed at gunpoint outside of a candidates forum that he emceed at Riggers Loft Wine Company in the Port of Richmond about 9:45 p.m. After his cellphone and wallet were stolen in the robbery, Martinez drove 2.2 miles to The Marina Bay Inn and Suites to call police. At the time, the councilman was driving a city-issued vehicle he borrowed while his car was in the shop.
In a police report about the robbery obtained exclusively by ABC7 News, Richmond police Sgt. Timothy Gard said he offered to drive Martinez home because he “could smell the strong odor of alcohol coming from his person…His slow-paced narrative and mannerisms were indicators he was probably under the influence of alcohol.” Martinez admitted to drinking that night, but denied he was drunk.
Martinez was upset that the police report was leaked, telling the EBT that his rights to be protected as a victim of a violent crime were being violated. He filed a complaint directly with police Chief Allwyn Brown and claimed the incident appeared to be a political attack. The police report’s release led the Richmond Police Officers Association’s president to publicly question Martinez’s use of a city-owned vehicle, since the councilman receives a $300 stipend for personal car use. Martinez said his use of the city car was cleared by City Manager Bill Lindsay.
Martinez’s complaint led to an internal investigation and the eventual firing of Gagan. Sources told the EBT Gagan was fired for lying to investigators. His dismissal was confirmed by Chief Brown. Further details about the report’s findings were not available.
Gagan, who is well-known in the community as a long-time public affairs officer, denies the allegation and is appealing the decision to terminate him.
“I told the truth in interviews and I have confidence the personnel board will agree with me,” Gagan told the EBT.