Stephen Ellison

Sexual Misconduct Case vs. Burlingame Cop May Reopen

New transparency law reveals records that show more women made similar claims

A closed criminal investigation into the sexual misconduct of a Burlingame police officer may be on the verge of being reopened soon.

The new look into the actions of David Granucci is largely due to a new law that revealed the officer accused of trying to exchange sex for favors may have done it before.

The initial criminal investigation ended as a case of "he said-she said." But on Tuesday, the San Mateo County District Attorney said records reopened by the new law show other women said it happened to them too.

Granucci was honored in 2011 for saving a life. But last June, he was fired after a woman reported he offered to help her resolve a DUI case in exchange for sex, which she refused.

The DA's Office did not pursue criminal charges, citing insufficient evidence. But now, a new state transparency law, SB 1421, allows more access to personnel records, and those records show Granucci made similar overtures to two other women one in 2015 and another in 2017.

DA Steve Wagstaffe said he’s examining those police complaints and could eventually file criminal charges against Granucci if the complaints help prove the alleged sexual misconduct crossed over the legal line.

"It becomes a crime when an officer, or anybody, says, 'Listen, if you do this for me, I will accomplish the following for you.' That can be a crime if an officer is using his position to do so, and that’s what we’re looking at here," Wagstaffe said.

Wagstaffe credits the new law as well as media reporting for bringing the other complaints to light.

Chandra Brooks, a San Jose Women’s March leader, said the Granucci case is a good example of how SB 1421 helps possible victims.

"It empowers other people to do something about it," Brooks said. "Now they feel 'I can report something and something is going to be done.' Because before, people felt like if they reported anything about a police officer, nothing was going to be done."

Granucci could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

Wagstaffe hopes to wrap up the new investigation by next week.

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