San Leandro Police Chief Sandra Spagnoli has kept mum for years about the arrest and conviction of SLPD officer Jason Fredriksson on charges of furnishing a pound of marijuana to a confidential informant, with whom he was having an affair, for her to sell. Fredriksson was turned in by a family member of the informant. The SLPD initially proved reluctant to investigate the charges, but the family member pressed on and Fredriksson was eventually arrested. Despite solid evidence against him, the fact that he was involved with a CI and the amount of marijuana involved, Fredriksson ultimately was given a slap-on-the-wrist deal that required him to serve no time in jail.
While police officers have said off-the-record that the marijuana found at the informer’s home was in bags marked SLPD, Chief Spagnoli has never acknowledged where the marijuana came from. Indeed, during a City Council meeting she mentioned that an audit had been done of their evidence-handling procedures, but she refused to let the Mayor or members of the City Council see the results. As Fredriksson did not go to trial, none of the details of the case have been made public.
At a recent City Council meeting, however, Chief Sandra Spagnoli suggested that the marijuana did come from the evidence room. “We found out that, during the arrest of officer Jason Fredriksson, there were oversight problems with the evidence room, and so what we did was use best practices, and we dedicated one individual to have the oversight and the correct training to monitor the evidence room, because it’s such a critical area.”
Chief Spagnoli had only been on the job for five months when the Fredriksson case came about, so she cannot be faulted too much for a disorganized evidence room. However, she can be faulted for the complete lack of transparency that she exhibits in the running of the Police Department.