San Francisco Police Chief Heather Fong isn't leaving quietly - in recent weeks, she has either demoted or leveled charges against two of her possible successors.
She has also brought charges against one of her sharpest critics, police union boss Gary Delagnes, for being quoted as uttering a four-letter word and for calling the Board of Supervisors "morons."
The first to feel Fong's administrative fist was Capt. Greg Suhr for allegedly failing to report a domestic violence case promptly.
The alleged victim - who called Suhr for help on the night of the incident - says he actually saved her life and got her to go to police. Nonetheless, Fong concluded that Suhr should have filed a report on the incident personally, and in a timely manner.
As a result, the chief demoted Suhr from deputy chief to captain just as the selection process for a new chief was getting under way.
The second chief candidate to come under the gun from Fong is Capt. Denis O'Leary,
First, without explanation, O'Leary was transferred out of his command at Ingleside Station and reassigned to the politically treacherous vice squad.
Now, on the eve of his interview for the chief's job, O'Leary finds himself embroiled in an internal affairs probe for having signed off on allegedly fraudulent overtime cards submitted by a civilian secretary at Ingleside Station. Although he has not been charged with misconduct, he has been notified that he must appear at a formal inquiry.
O'Leary's attorney, Tony Brass, called it "ridiculous."
Even if the secretary lied about her hours, "a police captain cannot babysit every clerical employee in his station," Brass said.
"This is simply an effort to get rid of a very respected and qualified candidate for the chief's spot," Brass said.
But it's the disciplinary charges filed against Delagnes, head of the Police Officers Association, that really have tongues wagging at City Hall.
The outspoken Delagnes stands accused of using the f-word repeatedly in talking to the SF Weekly for a story about BART police Officer Johannes Mehserle's fatal shooting of an unarmed rider.
A few days later, in a C.W. Nevius column in The Chronicle, Delagnes called San Francisco supervisors "morons."
He's been calling them that for years - and it isn't uncommon to hear the same term coming from the mouths of mayoral aides. This time, however, Fong has decided that Delagnes' remarks were vulgar and disparaging and constituted "unofficerlike conduct."
Delagnes says he can't be disciplined because he made his remarks in his capacity as the union boss, not as a sworn officer.
"The department knows full well that I have the ability to say whatever I wish while representing the Police Officers Association," Delagnes said. He has requested a chief's hearing to appeal Fong's decision to reprimand him and could take the matter to the full Police Commission.
The mayor's office isn't talking, but commission President Theresa Sparks said, "I don't look at these things as conspiratorial or vindictive."
"If I had a criticism of the chief," she said, "it might be that she is very sensitive about ... not appearing to have slacked off the last couple of months and not wanting to be criticized as giving someone a break."
Fong declined to discuss any of the specific cases but issued a statement saying that as police chief, "I have an obligation to review the actions of members in specific circumstances that are brought to my attention to determine whether their actions are consistent with policy and direction."
Don't go away mad, Heather... just go away!