Jeff Adachi, who was San Francisco's public defender, died on Feb. 22, 2019.

San Francisco Public Defender

City Officials Investigating Who Leaked 'Painful' Details About Jeff Adachi's Death

Scott Lettieri
April 19, 2019 - 2:44 pm

San Francisco lawmakers are attempting to get to the bottom of the controversy over how and why a police report on the death of Public Defender Jeff Adachi was released without his family's knowledge.

It appears the police report detailing the circumstances surrounding Adachi's death were sold to media outlets and released before the family had seen it. 

Jeff Adachi's widow, Mutsuko Adachi addressed the Board of Supervisors with tears in her eyes and blamed the city's police for leaking the material.

"It was despicable what the police department did to myself and my daughter by releasing the police report," she said. "It's incredibly painful to have the police department do this to you."

Adachi died Feb 22 n North Beach from an alcohol and cocaine overdose, according to the medical examiner's report. He was in the company of another woman. Foul play was ruled out. 

The police report with pictures and circumstances surrounding his death were made public two weeks after he died. 

Deputy public defender Hadi Razzaq, who also appeared at the special board meeting, said that an investigator in the public defenders office was approached by a KRON 4 reporter who told him a "stringer" was selling copies of the report for $2,500. 

"The news reporter said that KRON 4 couldn't afford to purchase the report but there were other media outlets that could afford and did purchase the report," he told board members. 

If true, that would raise ethical question for journalists and the police, Razzaq said. 

"Who released the report and when? Were police officers involved in selling the report to the media?"

Police commander Greg McEachern could not answer those questions but apologized to the family. He said the investigation is ongoing and is looking into possible criminal misconduct.