A San Francisco police officer under investigation for her relationship with a confidential informant was having a sexual affair with the woman, who kept nude images of the officer on her cell phone, The Standard has learned.
The allegations against narcotics officer Christina Hayes arose when her confidential informant was arrested earlier this year in the East Bay by law enforcement, who found the photos of Hayes on the informant’s phone, according to sources with direct knowledge of the case who were not authorized to speak about the incident.
When officers were making the arrest, the woman told them she was a confidential informant for Hayes. When the officers contacted Hayes to verify that information, Hayes attempted—unsuccessfully—to get her favorable treatment, sources say. The Standard has not learned what prompted the woman’s arrest or what, if any, charges she is facing.
Records filed in federal court allege Hayes, who was taken off the streets in June over her handling of the confidential source, divulged confidential information and impeded an active criminal investigation.
It’s unclear whom Hayes allegedly gave that information to, or which case she impeded.
San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott reassigned Hayes, 42, pending the investigation into her alleged inappropriate activities. Internal records show Hayes was transferred to the Department Operations Center on June 20. Officers under investigation are often placed in this center pending the outcome of their cases.
Hayes has been with the police department since 2006 and has worked on narcotics cases since at least June 2018.
The department has bestowed several commendations on Hayes, including Meritorious Conduct Awards in 2015 and 2017.
San Francisco police declined to comment due to the ongoing investigation into Hayes.
Hayes’ attorney, Julia Fox, did not respond to a request for comment. But she has said in the past that Hayes is a well-respected officer.
“Officer Hayes has only ever been truthful and forthright in her representations to the [assistant district attorneys] with whom she works and certainly in her courtroom testimony,” Fox told The Standard in June.
The allegations against Hayes have prompted prosecutors in San Francisco and Alameda County to review cases she was involved in. A spokesperson for San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins said that some cases may be impacted because of the “unavailability of a witness.”
Since the investigation, more than 100 cases have been dismissed in San Francisco Superior Court due to Hayes’ link to them. One of those cases involved 4.6 kilos of fentanyl, Jenkins said in a press release.
As of July 24, Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price had dismissed nine cases and was reviewing dozens of others.
Several cases were dismissed in federal court as well.
A request for an updated number of dismissals was not responded to by any agency involved.
Public Defender Mano Raju told The Standard in June that Hayes’ actions could impact thousands of cases.
“No one yet knows how deep this goes, but the initial cases being dismissed appear to be just the tip of the iceberg,” Raju said. “Thousands of cases may be tainted.”
The dismissal of narcotics cases has undermined renewed efforts by San Francisco law enforcement to crack down on open-air drug markets and pursue drug possession cases.
Hayes has played an important role as a drug expert for the narcotics unit, often testifying as an expert witness.
In a recent case, Hayes testified that she had been involved in more than 1,000 narcotics arrests.
The issue of inappropriate interactions with confidential informants is not isolated to Hayes. In 2015, several San Francisco police officers were convicted in federal court for theft and illegal searches; the case revealed how the officers illegally searched hotel rooms and paid their confidential informants with illegal drugs.
Jonah Owen Lamb can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org