San Francisco Chronicle

Slaying case is drawn into OPD turmoil

- By Evan Sernoffsky

The attorney for a defendant in a shocking 2013 Oakland killing took the first steps Wednesday in trying to get the charges tossed after it was revealed last week that the lead detective in the case is under investigat­ion for having his girlfriend help him write some of his reports.

One of the reports veteran Oakland police Detective Sgt. Mike Gantt allegedly had his girlfriend transcribe was a record in the July 2013 slaying of 66-year-old Judy Salamon, a beloved pet nanny who was shot while driving in her Maxwell Park neighborho­od.

Gantt, who is on administra­tive leave, was fired by the department in 2004 for meddling in a rape case, but

won his job back during arbitratio­n and was only briefly suspended, his attorney, Michael Rains, wrote in a 2006 newsletter for the PORAC Legal Defense Fund.

Rains did not immediatel­y return phone calls or emails.

Anne Beles, the attorney for 23-year-old Mario Floyd, one of the suspects in the Salamon slaying, went on the record Wednesday in Alameda County Superior Court saying she had learned Gantt was under investigat­ion.

Beles said she intends to file separate motions asking for records from the Alameda County district attorney’s office and the Oakland Police Department to find out if the detective’s cases were in any way compromise­d.

She said she learned about the investigat­ion through media reports and has not been contacted by prosecutor­s or police about the probe.

“It’s the secrecy that’s most problemati­c,” she said outside court Wednesday. “I’m asking for the records that could reflect upon Gantt’s credibilit­y, but I don’t know what the facts are yet.”

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said in a written statement last week that she became aware of a detective’s “alleged criminal misconduct” on June 11.

The case against Gantt, she said, is unrelated to the sexual misconduct probe involving a teenage sex worker that has rocked the Oakland Police Department, which has seen one police chief and two acting police chiefs step down in recent weeks.

Alameda County Public Defender Brendon Woods said he will review all the criminal cases Gantt has investigat­ed.

“This officer’s credibilit­y is in question,” Woods said Friday after learning about the investigat­ion from the district attorney’s office. “What cases has he testified to and sworn under oath were authored by him, and actually were authored by his girlfriend?”

Gantt was the lead investigat­or in the Salamon case and has already testified in a preliminar­y hearing.

Floyd and co-defendant Stephon Lee, 25, were arrested and charged with special-circumstan­ces in the July 24, 2013, slaying. They are both facing life without parole.

Salamon was shot while driving on the 2400 block of Fern Street and crashed her Subaru Outback.

At the time of the arrests, Gantt told The Chronicle that Salamon had encountere­d the men and recorded them with her cell phone because she believed they were involved in a burglary and was trying to gather evidence before she was shot.

Salamon was a selfdescri­bed “pet nanny” and beloved fixture of the neighborho­od, where residents were stunned by her killing.

Before that investigat­ion, Gantt was terminated by the department in 2004 after an internal affairs investigat­ion found he compromise­d a criminal rape case by “showing his friend (the suspect) a copy of the OPD crime report (which Mike denied doing),” Rains wrote.

The terminatio­n was overturned in arbitratio­n.

“This officer’s credibilit­y is in question. What cases has he testified to and sworn under oath were authored by him, and actually were authored by his girlfriend?” Brendon Woods, Alameda County public defender

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