San Francisco has agreed to pay $400,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by a former city investigator who claimed retaliation after expressing concerns that former district attorney George Gascon was allegedly carrying firearms on flights in violation of federal law.
Henry McKenzie was fired in 2017 from the prosecutor's office and sued the city in 2018, claiming that he was subjected to a “pattern of retaliation and harassment” after he and other investigators went to the federal Transportation Security Administration with their concerns about Gascón, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Tuesday.
McKenzie believed Gascon was violating federal law, which allows peace officers to carry firearms while traveling so long as they state they are doing so for a work-related reason. They believed Gascon, who became district attorney in 2012, was no longer an active officer.
McKenzie told the newspaper he felt vindicated by the unanimous vote by the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.
Max Szabo, a spokesman for Gascón, who is running for the district attorney's office in Los Angeles, said the former prosecutor “requested this case be taken to trial so a jury could decide the merits of this farce, but the city attorney made a business decision in response to the cost of litigation."
John Cote, spokesman for the city attorney, said it was far cheaper to settle the lawsuit than to take it to court.