Emails Show Cozy Relationship between San Jose Police, 49ers

Weeks after the San Jose Police Department suspended officers' off-duty work for the San Francisco 49ers, newly reported emails show just how cozy the relationship was between some officers and the team.

In an August email that surfaced as part of a public records request by the Mercury News, Sgt. Sean Pritchard told his colleagues that moonlighting for the NFL team could be a “cash cow.” There’s “strong potential as we move forward that there will be the opportunity to work director with the team if they make the playoffs/Super Bowl,” he continued.

The hundreds of emails and internal SJPD documents obtained by the newspaper shed light on just how close certain officers were with the team. Pritchard and Sgt. Lawrence Day appear to have used their influence to handpick officers for the best jobs.

SJPD suspended all off-duty work with the football team after finding out that Pritchard was at defensive lineman Ray McDonald’s house on Aug. 31, before police arrived to investigate allegations that the player had hit his pregnant fiancé. The officer was reportedly at the house earlier in the day for a birthday party McDonald threw with his teammates but returned later that night after getting a call from the player. The Merc reports that Pritchard’s presence at McDonald’s home held up the case for a month.

It was after that incident that the department suspended all off-duty work with the 49ers.

The emails dug up by the Merc illustrate the problems with off-duty employment for officers. Not can they lead to conflicts of interest, they also drain an officer’s energy for department duties.

In an email to a friend, Day said he was “dog tired” after flying back from a preseason game in Baltimore. “Worked 78 hours this week and get home to go back to detective work tomorrow,” he wrote, according to the Merc.

A 2012 audit concluded that SJPD’s secondary employment program needed “significant reform,” partly because officers in charge of arranging the work exercised undue influence in the agency.

Independent Police Auditor LaDoris Cordell said none of the recommendations in that report were implemented.

Similar concerns have surfaced in Santa Clara, where city leaders have accepted perks like free tickets from the team, which relocated this summer to its new home, Levi's Stadium. Last month, the Santa Clara City Council watered down a resolution against domestic violence, removing McDonald's name and generalizing the statement to make it less direct.


  1. Ya your right they shouldn’t have a cozy relationship. Like the mercury news shouldn’t have a cozy relationship with Reed and the city. Also like the San Jose Inside shouldn’t have a cozy relationship with Liccardo and take his money and endorse a politician. You guys are hypocrites and a joke.

  2. LaDoris Cordell does not get paid to administer the police department; her job is to audit citizen complaints. Her criticism of the department’s day-to-day administration constitutes the direct criticism of a department head, namely the chief of police. In other words, this megalomaniac is now usurping the authority of the city manager, the only civilian city official with authority over the police chief.

    That the chief and the city manager continue to take this abuse from this mentally-twisted little prima donna does not speak well of their strength of character. I guess it is all about the dinero.

  3. SVNR is stuck in a time warp and reporting on another “papers’ report from last week…. way to be out front on this old news.

    • It just hit me why SJI is nothing other than being a SJMN bedfellow. Heck you reprint the same stories, change a few words so it does not look like a copycat. Same support for elections, hate public safety, pensions. This is just another site that the SJMN can post sites and block comments they do not like from their crappie waste of a paper.

  4. Wow nice reprint of Sundays Mercury News. Now stop telling me SJI And Murkcy News are not one and the same with the same slanted views and endorsement of the same clowns.

  5. There’s something seriously rotten when an on-duty police officer shows up at a crime scene before the officer assigned to the case arrives. When I read stuff like that, and when I read about CHP officers stealing pictures from confiscated phones, sending them to fellow officers and commenting on the breasts in the pictures, it makes me think that this “old news” is definitely getting old.

    I don’t agree with everything Cordell wants to do, but I’m glad that someone is speaking up. If you want her to shut up, you have to stop giving her fodder.

    • The district sergeant WAS the first unit on scene and all others who showed up rallied on him (including the sgt whom the media is erroneously reporting was at the house first) before going to McDonald’s house as a group.

      Seriously a little critical thinking here…McDonald WAS arrested and booked on the FELONY domestic violence charge – clearly it made no difference to the arresting officer(s) that any police personnel were at the party earlier in the day and no difference that a sgt moonlighting with the 49ers was present and on duty for the City when the arrest occurred. That speaks volumes about the professionalism and integrity of SJPD.

      . If mcdonald hadn’t been arrested then (1) it could be argued that he was given preferential treatment and (2) it is highly likely that no one would have ever known anything about the incident.

      Who will you and Cordell blame of DA Rosen chooses to drop the charges due to a lack of evidence (real injury) or an uncooperative fiancé?

      • You are right about professionalism and integrity in this particular incident. However, why would Sgt. Pritchard show up at a crime scene while he was on duty? You have to think that it was because he believed that his presence would have some effect on the outcome. If Pritchard was thinking, he must have thought the upside outweighed the downside. Why would he think that?

        • He just as easily may have thought that brother and sister officers were (as they so often are called to do) were walking into a very volitile situation with some very large, very intoxicated people who also get paid to play a very “physical” sport. A situation in a house full of vwry large people who despite knowing what went on to prompt a 911 call from a fellow party goer might decide that they were not going to let the police do their jobs and at a moments notice act to do everything they could to ensure their host and teammate was not going to jail. Those party guests knew that there was far more at stake than the embarassment associated to an arrest – a wise man who posts on this site once said “it’s always about the dinero.”

          What if Pritchard thought if this goes bad maybe , just maybe, I can reason with the hotheads – I’ve already need to the house, I know who is there, I know their personalities and the fact that they generally don’t like the police but they know men and will listen to reason if it is coming from me and not strangers. What if he was thinking that if McDonald or his guests decided to get really nasty and fight SJPD it would be ugly like Pros vs pop warner migets and one more midget might save a fellow OFFICER from inhurt or death – knowing IPA, IDIOT reporters, IDIOT public IDIOT posters to blogs and news articles and cop haters in general were going to have a field day with?

          • There always have to be some kernel of truth in any story to make it believable. It wasn’t a pretty characterization of professional football players, but it is believable.

            If it really was the case, it will put Pritchard in an interesting position. Does he tell the truth, and soil the image of our local NFL team, or does he take one for the team? That’s really his problem. He has to figure out which “team” he’s on.

  6. Jack Slade Speaks

    One of the problems associated with this activity can be found in the City’s Web Site that shows Patrol Time on each shift. You will see examples of numerous officers showing up “To Fill” on what requires one officer, a recovered stolen car. Most times these cars have been sitting for days abandoned and pose no threat, a waste of Patrol time. On more serious calls half the shift shows up for “Safety Reasons” as they all stand around talking and allowing the calls to stack up. On cold burglary calls time is wasted taking fingerprints in areas visited only by the owners. The burglary is never going to be investigated.

    The POA has been involved in many types of conduct including, in the past, having a mole in the Independent Police Auditor’s Office and one of the past President’s wife working in IA. So the details of a complaint and the evidence are revealed to IA. The officers are then told the entire complaint so that those involved can prepare a defense story that fits their version. IPA also advises complaint makers “If you lose your complaint” the officer through the POA can sue you, now what’s your complaint?

    There is a mutiny going on, there is a deliberate work slow down and 2/3 rds of your Police Officers are indoors doing just about nothing maintaining Federal Grant Programs and bogus individual units that should be combined with half the cops working in them pulled out. The problem is they are all Sgt.’s and above and you can’t demote them to patrolman.

    The rest of their week, work three days have four days off or work four days and have three off are spent working pay jobs. The example in this article shows that the 20 hour a week maximum isn’t being followed. Now the 900 or so Security Guards still on the PD are simply “SELF EMPLOYED” , “TAKE ORDERS FROM NO ONE” and “HAVE SO MUCH DIRT ON EACH OTHER” that the Taxpayer has a new class of Welfare Recipients.

  7. Nate (or George Jaeger as you were known during that feature-length cartoon you called a police career),

    I acknowledge your expertise in certain areas of policing, namely: shirking (no one ever wasted as much on-duty time at the pay job gigs they administered than you); delusional thoughts (despite your continued insistence, you were neither a rock ‘n roll star nor Elvis Presley’s buddy); earning the enmity of your teammates (you can probably count the friends you made during your decade at SJPD on the one finger Jose Canseco just blew off); and playing the disability game.

    As an energetic Mercury News commenter who poses as an expert on policing and morality, let’s take a walk down memory lane and recall how you, after having motivated a deputy chief into twisting the rules in an attempt to get rid of you, got yourself a lawyer and parlayed his screw-up into a disability retirement for yourself (so you could answer Hollywood’s call — another voice in your head). Let’s also remind ourselves how you, fifteen or so years into your stunning film career, came back to the city claiming to be cured of your injuries, and demanding your job back (a not original malingerer’s ploy to lock themselves into a higher pay structure before re-injuring themselves).

    You failed to get you job back for one reason: sane people enjoy lucid memories, something you wouldn’t understand.

  8. Why is it when someone says anything bad about cops here or any where all these so called retired,current and or semi retired cops get all bent out of shape and start w the ” murky news” “down with the mayor” and “you don’t have your story strait” “Cordell is bad” speeches. Cmon grow up children and accept the fact that a lot and I do mean a lot of officers waste our taxpayer money doing nothing but standing around. I know the truth hurts but its reality not a blue bubble or a blue line we live in or hide behind. So much tax payer dollars wasted so some “officer” can hide behind a building all night (10st hang out spot) old hospital building between 14th- 17th st down town SJ. Oh and this is strictly observation. I have lived in San Jose my entire adult life (45+ years) its the same story nothing has changed. Except cops getting paid more to do more of nothing. Whenever someone stands up and questions it then that person or group is targeted by SJPD as witnessed here and in real life. So childish that someone can’t clean up SJPD because the inmates are running the asylum. Oh but now the streets are not safe…yeah not safe with all the cops doing nothing being bored talking about what they did over the weekend…now let the haters speak come on I know I’m about to be attacked. Just make sure to put down the doughnut when talking. Also keep in mind the biggest gang in San Jose is……drumroll….. SJPD. Don’t believe me think about it…have a most wonderful day.

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