SANTA ANA, California – Baytown Police Chief David DeGraff was suspended Tuesday for fraud and breach of trust, but he is still being paid $6.2 million in a settlement with the city, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
DeGraff, who resigned in March, agreed to pay $1.1 million and a two-year probation period to settle a civil lawsuit alleging he stole millions from the city to cover his personal expenses, according to the Chronicle.
He was also ordered to repay nearly $7.7 million in personal expenses and $3.2 in legal fees, which were the city’s largest penalties in court history, according the Chronicle report.
The deal also includes a $1 million fine and three years of probation.
The city’s Board of Supervisors will discuss the settlement at its June 15 meeting.
A spokesperson for DeGraf said the settlement “is not a result of the investigation, but was approved by the City Attorney’s Office and the San Diego City Attorney.”
The city paid $4.1 billion in settlements with more than 1,000 cases over the past three decades, including more than $3 million to settle the wrongful termination and wrongful termination of a police officer case involving former Baytown City Councilman Chris Villanueva, who sued the city in 2014 for wrongful termination, according an audit of the city by the San Jose Mercury News.
The city has also settled a wrongful termination case involving a former City Councilwoman and former City Attorney, according a lawsuit filed by the Mercury News last year.
The settlement includes a one-time payment of $1,500 and a $5,000 fine.
Baytown Mayor Joe Silva said in a statement that DeGraFF’s suspension was not related to the investigation into the fraudulent payments.
“I want to thank the San Mateo County District Attorney’s office and our law enforcement partners for their work to protect our citizens from fraud,” Silva said.
“I also want to commend the City of Baytown for cooperating with our investigation.
‘This is about the money’DeGraFF was appointed to the position by Mayor Sam Liccardo in January.
He was appointed after the city agreed to a settlement to settle allegations of civil rights violations against the city that had been going on for years.
The investigation by the federal government into the city began in 2015, after a report from the Office of Special Counsel and the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division said that the city had not taken steps to correct the allegations, according to the Mercury Newswire.
The report by the DOJ said the city “fails to adequately investigate, investigate and prosecute misconduct of any kind” and that it “has failed to implement and enforce policies, procedures, and practices that are designed to protect employees from retaliation.”
The DOJ report also said the department was “incompetent in its oversight of the City’s Police Department and failed to protect the integrity of its internal investigation system.”
The settlement is the largest such payout in California history, and the largest settlement in the city of any department in San Mateos history.
In addition to the settlement, DeGraffe was ordered to pay nearly $4 million in court costs and another $3,000 in legal costs, the Chronicle reported, citing court documents.
The Chronicle said that San Mateobans can also sue in court for up to $50,000, if they are “victims of a crime that they believe was committed.”
The city also agreed to drop all pending lawsuits against the department, according.
The settlement comes amid criticism that the Baytown city attorney’s office is biased against minorities and is biased in favor of white officers, the Associated Press reported.
DeGrafe was not the only police officer to have been investigated for misconduct by the department.
Officers from the Bay Area Rapid Transit Police department were investigated by the FBI for their handling of a man who collapsed in the subway platform in 2015.
The man, Joshua J. Gogos, had been hospitalized and had multiple broken bones in his neck, chest, and back after being hit by a subway train, police said at the time.
Goyos died at a hospital.
The case has since been dismissed.