Sunday, June 27, 2010

Inspector Dean Marcic Redefines "Conflict of Interest"

Shortly after the SFPD began its blitz on taxi driver licensing fees in December 2009, Deputy Police Chief John Murphy replaced Inspector Sgt. Ron Reynolds with Inspector III Dean Marcic as head of the Taxi Detail. (That there no longer is a Taxi Detail is a moot point. Marcic has never bothered to contact SFMTA Taxi Services, which was supposed to take over the work of the Taxi Detail.)

A brief comparison of their respective qualifications should help clarify why Chief Murphy made the change:
  • Sgt. Reynolds is one of the lowest users of overtime, Sgt Marcic (who billed over $100,000 in OT in both 2008 and 2009 - more than 50% of his SFPD income) is one of the highest.
  • Sgt. Reynolds is respected throughout the cab industry for his competence, helpfulness and knowledge of the taxi business while Marcic has spent the last several years towing cars.
  • Sgt. Reynolds works for the SFPD. Marcic supplements his income working part time as a security guard at Yellow Cab, in violation of SFPD Department General Orders (
Talk about a no brainer!

So, why did Chief Murphy make this curious change?

A curious question - almost as curious as Murphy's response last month during a meeting with members of the taxi industry when Bud Hazelkorn of the UTW and Director Christiane Hayashi of Taxi Services accused Sgt. Marcic of having a conflict of interest. Chief Murphy responded by saying that Marcic hadn't committed any crimes.

This from an officer who's supposed to have been enforcing the law for the last 20 years?

 A "conflict of interest" ( doesn't necessarily mean that a crime has been committed. It defines a situation where a person serves two masters and thus has the potential or the power to benefit him or herself at the expense of the public good. Marcic is conflicted in at least three ways:
  1. Yellow Cab owns Yellow Cab of South San Francisco,  some of whose taxis have been seen providing illegal cab service within San Francisco, and one of Marcic's major duties is illegal taxicab enforcement.
  2. Another duty is investigating cab companies and it would be easy for Marcic to favor Yellow Cab and Yellow Cab's drivers and medallion holders at the expense of other companies.
  3.  Marcic is also supposed to investigate charges of taxi company corruption - clearly an impossibility when he is being paid by the very entity he is supposed to be investigating.
It's not as if Inspector Marcic is a paragon of honesty to begin with as his dubious OT claims would attest.

But it goes way beyond that! Inspector Marcic and has already been here and done this. He was "laterally transferred"out of the Taxi Detail once before because he filed for excessive amounts of unauthorized overtime.  Marcic's billings were so outrageous that the staff overseeing the budget nicknamed his antics "Operation Salmon" after the pink slips that cops use to file for OT.

When you look at Inspector Marcic's rap sheet, it becomes more and more amazing that Chief Murphy put him in charge of the phantom Taxi Detail in the first place much less continues to defend him against all criticism.

The only reason I can think of is that replacing an honest cop like Sgt. Ron Reynolds with Inspector Marcic appears to have been a signal to the "good ole' boy" police network to "get it while you can." And, despite Chief of Police Gascon's claims to end OT, Marcic and his guys continue to file those pink slips at a furious pace.