Sep 052013
Police Chief Sandra Spagnoli

Police Chief Sandra Spagnoli

But will the Council and City Manager let her get away with it?

Tuesday night, San Leandro Police Chief Sandra Spagnoli was caught lying to the San Leandro City Council several times.

Two lies are so blatant, that there can be now wiggle room around them.

1 – She told the City Council that the SLPD only has one police car equipped with license plate scanners mounted on them.  But as Mike Katz-Lacabe, my husband pointed out, it has 3.  He’s taken pictures of them, in case there are any questions.

2- She told the Council that license plate scanners only get the “photo of the license plate”.  Again, a lie, as the license plate picture below shows.

Now, these are by no means the first lies the Chief tells the Council.  She’s lied about the effects of marijuana dispensary on crime and she lied about how long license plate information is kept for, for example.

And as Councilmember Jim Prola pointed out when I brought this matter up to him, last night she repeatedly tried to mislead the Council (Prola wouldn’t commit to using the word “lie”) when she claimed that license plate data had to be retained for a year because they are sharing it with the Northern California Regional Intelligence Center (everyone who drives in San Leandro is a suspected terrorist, it would seem).  Under questioning by Prola, the representative from the Center reluctantly admitted the Council could set whatever term in wanted for keeping the data.

And she’s lied directly to the community about things such as how realignment works.

But the thing about these two lies last night is that there is no room for ambiguity.  Either license scanners only take pictures of the license plates as she claims or they don’t, as the picture shows.  Either there is one car with a scanner or there are three, as the other photos we have show.

The City Council knows now without a shadow of a doubt the the Chief of Police has so little respect for them that she will lie and lie to their faces.  Meanwhile, she asks them to “trust her”.

Mayor Cassidy wanted to see one of the “audits” on the Police Department, done after an SLPD narcotics officer was convicted of selling drugs to an informer.  The Chief  denied him access to it, claiming it has sensitive information.   “You have to trust on your Chief of Police” she said.  But how can the Council – and the citizens of San Leandro – trust a Chief who has repeatedly been caught lying?

I don’t have much admiration four our City Council.  But do any of them have any self-respect?  They must know the Chief doesn’t have any for them – otherwise she wouldn’t lie – and yet they let her get away with this type of behavior.

I have a call to the office of City Manager Chris Zapata for comments.  Zapata is ultimately her boss.  Is she lying with his knowledge? His approval? Is she completely insubordinate?

I have also contacted the Mayor and City Council for comment.  I will update this article if I hear back.

Photo of my family, car and home taken by an SLPD license plate scanner and obtained through a CPRA request.


  11 Responses to “Chief of Police Sandra Spagnoli Gets Caught Lying to City Council”

  1. I had conversation about this matter with Mr. Zapata. Zapata suggested that the Chief may have, once again, “misspoken” (he says he doesn’t “like” the word “lie”) and arranged a meeting with Mike Katz-Lacabe and the Chief. At the meeting, the Chief admitted that they had 3 license plate scanners already installed on vehicles, and there were two more in the works, for a total of five.

  2. Before the City of Beverly Hills hires this woman, I would like to get more information on her.
    The City of Beverly Hills has already had many problems with the former Chief – Problems that will take years to clear up. It would be nice to hear from you about this woman.
    Thank you.

  3. Well we in Beverly Hills have inherited your PD chief. We’ll see how it goes. From preliminary reading here, it appears she’ll be right at home with our city manager & Council. If her anodyne statements about working with our community are any indication – and that sounds familiar from San Leandro Talk, doesn’t it? – we’ll have the benefit of her ‘experience’ in San Leandro here in our small town. I’ll keep you posted.

    • I was actually surprised at how universally happy people were to see her go. It was truly amazing how uniformly disliked she was and for all sorts of reasons. But I would imagine that Beverly Hills citizens would be more empowered to keep her in check than San Leandro citizens. Best of luck to you guys.

    • I agree that this Chief’s transfer to Beverly Hills did not bring joy either to employees or to residents. We have a pending civil rights case against the Chief of Police and Beverly Hills Police for violating our client’s rights. I would be interested to hear more about your experiences with this Chief, her tenure at San Leandro or Beverly Hills PD. Please, feel free to contact me at .

  4. It is worrisome that the Beverly Hills Police Department may become another Rampart scandal as we witnessed in the past – dirty cops are everyone’s concern – and when it’s the Chief that is problematic it’s even more worrisome. While the prostitutes advertise freely and practice throughout Beverly Hills on City Source the poor tourists are getting J-walking tickets. Something is very wrong – a fish always smells bad from the head down.

  5. Chief Spagnoli has not done well at Beverly Hills by all indicators. She has faced multiple lawsuits and we have a pending civil rights police brutality action for her failures as Chief. I would like to hear more from San Leandro citizens regarding her tenure as Chief. Contact us if interested:

  6. She has is a menace to society. She needs to be knocked down a few pegs. I hope someone has the courage to do it. Who is she to judge anyone? She is a piece of trash. Get rid of her! Now!

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