In the day following ex-SDPD Chief William Lansdowne's February 25 announcement that he would retire, politicians, pundits, and police experts pronounced pious platitudes promising prolonged public participation in the process of picking a replacement. The Police Department, after all, had been racked by sexual scandal, liberally seasoned with nepotism, secrecy, and general clubby skullduggery. Transparency, it was said, would be the new watchword. Accountability would be the new policy. And merit would be the new path to advancement.
Two days later, Mayor Faulconer named assistant chief Shelley Zimmerman to succeed Lansdowne, citing the SDPD's need for immediate leadership. "Without a chief, those guys wouldn't know what to do," explained Faulconer. "It's not like there's some list of rules that tells them who to arrest and who to protect."
The choice of Zimmerman was generally attributed to her not being a sexually abusive creep, and also not a man. But this photo recently appeared on the watchdog site policeparty.com, captioned simply, "When bad touch is good touch: Lansdowne's right hand ensures that his 'right-hand man' is next in line for the throne."
Police spokeswoman Rona Round declined to comment for this story.