On Monday, via a Public Record Request, the Antioch Police Department provided a copy of an email sent to the city council regarding the investigation into documents released by the City of San Francisco concerning Officer Mike Mellone and his involvement in an officer involved shooting.
According to the documents released, APD had hired as private firm to investigate the hiring of Mellone and do a background check which resulted in 1,600 pages of new documents for review. The investigating firm, along with the police chief, said Mellone is qualified to work anywhere in the State of California. The cost of this investigation was not provided at the time of print.
The shooting in question occurred on April 7, 2016 of Luis Gongora. The hiring of Mellone prompted protests from citizens including a hunger strike, and a petition that resulted in 3,252 have signatures upon hearing Mellone was hired.
Antioch Police Chief Tammany Brooks briefed the city council via email on December 22, 2020 with an end result that Officer Mellone is still qualified to work as a police officer anywhere in the State of California.
In his letter to the City Council, Chief Brooks stated the following:
“I hired Officer Mellone back in August 2019. At the time he went through the same rigorous testing process as every other APD applicant. This included an oral interview, medical investigation, polygraph test, psychological evaluation, and thorough background investigation. As a side note, the Antioch Police Department is audited annually by the California Commission of Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) to ensure our background investigations are conducted in accordance with POST standards. Office Mellone passed all aspects of the hiring process. During the background investigation, all available information concerning Officer Mellone’s employment with SFPD, including the shooting of Gongora, was examined and vetted and no disqualifying information was identified.
In June 2020, the Antioch Police Department became aware of new documents released by SFPD pertaining to the Gongora shooting. These documents were not available during the initial background investigation and hiring of Officer Mellone. Therefore, they were sent to our independent licensed contracted background investigator to inspect. The purpose of this review was to determine if any new information was provided that was not known to us at the time Officer Mellone was hired – and if there was, would any of the information have altered the ability for Officer Mellone to serve as a police officer.
Upon completion of this investigation it has been determined that no new evidence was identified, and Officer Mellone is still qualified to work as a police officer anywhere in the State of California. Please see the attached summary as confirmation of this fact.
I had originally reassigned Officer Mellone out of patrol until results of this investigation were known. Now that the investigation has been completed, he will return to his regular patrol duties in January with my full support. Officer Mellone is a very caring and competent officer who has spend his entire adult life working in law enforcement. And while some people have questioned his intentions or abilities based on limited information they know about one incident 4 ½ years ago, I am completely confident in his abilities and know he has the right temperament, values, and character to serve as an Antioch Police Officer. If I didn’t, I would not have hired him in the first place”
In a document provided by Crump Investigations, it highlighted that on June 15, 2020 he was hired to complete a supplemental investigation of Antioch Police Officer Michael Mellone.
The background investigation included interviews with multiple persons, including family members, friends, significant others, co-workers, supervisors, neighbors, etc of Officer Mellone. It also included reviews of his educational transcripts, prior employment background investigations, performance evaluations, personnel files, other departmental application information, a California Department of Motor vehicle report, vehicle insurance documentation, Selective Service registration information, law enforcement agency checks, FBI and DOJ reports, a financial credit report, etc. In additional, he reviewed the information provided by the Department of Police Accountability-City and County of San Francisco regarding information received by them about M. Mellone while he was employed as a police officer with the San Francisco Police Department — Crump says there was no disqualifying information identified in his review.
According to Crump’s document, the additional documents totaled over 1,600 pages and included, but not limited to, documents from the City of San Francisco Police Department, City of San Francisco Department of Police Accountability, and the City and County of San Francisco District Attorney’s Investigations Bureau. The documents included various criminal, internal, coroner, administrative reports, memorandums, notes, and bulletins. They also included transcripts of various interviews that were conducted regarding the officer-involved shooting of Luis Gongora.
Antioch Police Officers Association President Jason Venderpool issued the following statement after it was known the documents were released via public records request.
“We are glad the investigation is over. Officer Mellone, as with the rest of the Antioch POA, are excited to move forward and continue to provide service to protect the citizens of Antioch,” said APOA president Jason Vanderpool.
In his letter to the Council, Chief Brooks also stated the following:
Mellone worked from Antioch Police from 2006-12. In 2012 left to work for San Francisco Police. In his time with SFPD, became a field training officer (2013), received a life-saving award for administering SFPD’s first documented Narcan save of a person who had overdosed on drugs (2015), received a humanitarian award from Mayor Ed Lee (2015), promoted to sergeant (2018) received certificate of honor from SF Board of Supervisors (2018), and was an award recipient at the San Francisco Rotary Emergency Services Day (2019).
A request into how much this investigation cost the City of Antioch has not yet been provided.