Tough week for public safety in Hayward: Fallen officer; stumbling fire chief

Hayward Fire Chief Garrett Contreras

HAYWARD | Last week, the Hayward Police Department bid farewell to Sgt. Scott Lunger, who was killed by a suspect during a traffic stop.

On Tuesday, Hayward’s public safety community was rocked again when it was reported Hayward Fire Chief Garrett Contreras was suspended for drinking on the job earlier this year.

Contreras, however, will keep his job, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

In the report detailing the investigation into Contreras’ actions, Hayward City Manager Fran David wrote, “This conduct is not what I expect from a chief,” she continued, “Your failure of leadership has embarrassed the city and your department and violates the very command and control structure on which your operations depend.”

Hayward City Manager Fran David suspended
Contreras for drinking on the job earlier this year.

Contreras, according to David, drove city vehicles while consuming alcohol on at least four occasions, was belligerent in public during a golf tournament, and threatened, while intoxicated, the employment of a Hayward firefighter.

In addition, while on-call, Contreras once failed to respond to a “significant” fire in Hayward while he was imbibing alcohol.

The report also stated Contreras was previously admonished by David for his conduct in 2013.

In the report, Contreras was apologetic and David apparently deemed the gesture was genuine. According to the Chronicle, David’s reasoning for keeping Contreras on the job was his honesty during the investigation.

Contreras is barred from taking city vehicles home for year, said the Chronicle, prohibited from drinking alcohol while in uniform.

16 thoughts on “Tough week for public safety in Hayward: Fallen officer; stumbling fire chief

  1. By MW:

    In regard to my above post of 10:12AM on August 15, I need to get a pair of reading glasses, in other words to facilitate closeup work.

    More specifically, since I am lousy at typing and also lack a pair of reading glasses, and which would be a huge help in proofreading, therefore the third last phrase in the above post merely said “local department,” and when it should have said “LOCAL fire department.”

    And related to the above and investigations done by government agencies and outside “independent” and “impartial” investigators, the “investigation” of extremely suspicious fires is an extremely profitable and extremely sleazy industry. More specifically, those businessmen, and especially in the Bay area, who provide the politicians with election campaign contributions and/or under the table bribes can almost always get the local fire department to declare that a fire that was obviously caused by arson was supposedly caused by bad luck. (The favorite excuse and “cause” found by corrupt arson squad “investigators” as the “cause” of arson fires is “electrical problems,” and rather than starting it was obviously caused by arson.)

    And to back up and further “prove” that the fire was caused by “bad luck” rather than arson, the building owner can also, and often does, hire an independent “investigator” and “expert,” and who is usually a former and retired member of a fire department arson squad, to do his own independent “investigation,” in other words a paid professional pathological liar, but who has an impressive resume, and who in exchange for money will “find” and declare anything you want to be found and declared. (For further details, contact GM, Mary Barra, and Louis Freeh.)

    To sum up, Al Capone and Lucky Luciano were small timers and minor leaguers. They have been replaced by a much bigger and much sleazier modern mafia composed of our present day politicians, present day lawyers, and the “experts” and “investigators” those lawyers and politicians use to “prove” their points. For instance, Jonathan Gruber of Harvard and MIT is an excellent example of a modern day “expert” and the type of honesty” and “integrity” they have, and the willingness of our politicians to use the “evidence” “provided” by such “experts.”


  2. By MW:

    Two days ago, in other words on Thursday, August 13, 2015, I was reading a local paper and it had an article about a supermarket near the intersection of Marina Boulevard and Doolittle Drive in San Leandro that was evidently totally destroyed in an early morning fire that had broken out shortly after 2:30AM on Monday, August 10.

    And then yesterday I read an article about a major fire that occurred this week in Oakland on or near International Boulevard in Oakland, and also at about 2;30AM.

    But that did not surprise me, since, and as I have commented before, 2AM to 4AM is a favorite time for fires to occur.

    And in fact it is an especially favorite time for fires to occur if someone does not merely want a fire to occur, but in fact for a fire to occur that will be so huge that it will not merely damage, but will totally destroy the building.

    NOTE: If you are a property owner or business owner who is thinking you might eventually want to arrange a fire, and such as because your business is losing money or needs major remodeling or because your building is full of asbestos, stay friendly with the local politicians and also supply them large election campaign contributions, and also consider hiring a crooked lawyer to provide them with under the table bribes, and that way when your building goes up in flames in a fire that anybody with an IQ higher than his shoe size would realize was almost certainly caused by arson, they will probably get their friends in the local department to declare that the fire was caused by bad luck, and such as by an electrical problem, rather than arson.


  3. So now Contreras can focus on doing his job. What was he doing before? Focusing on his next drink and collecting that fat paycheck? Maybe he was getting paid for calling in sick/hungover. Hayward is a crazy place that lacks leadership. It's politicians are too scared to stand up to lo FF Local 1909, especially since elections are coming up. Abandon common sense for monetary endorsements from Unions.


  4. Fran David lies so much that she wouldn't know the truth if it jumped up and bit her on the butt. Bad politics is behind everything in Hayward. Fiscally irresponsible & morally bankrupt clowns who all need to go.


  5. @8:29 pm, a “stand up guy” with piss poor judgement. He may have taken one for the team, but he should be fired because he's a sloppy drunk, not a leader.The Mayor and City Council condone his behavior and their mouthpiece Fran David applaudes his honesty. Give me a break. Does anyone at 777 B Street have a functioning brain? What a big, fat joke.


  6. Contreras has made many mistakes. This was not his first mistake. City Manager David forgave each of his “mistakes” that would have resulted in any regular person getting fired. Drunk driving a City vehicle, drinking in public while in uniform, neglecting on call duties, etc. Ridiculous! He wrote a grant & was honest about being a fool. His punishment should have resulted in him being fired. In the real world, he would have been fired, but Hayward is a corrupt town and CM David rules the roost. Losing 9% of $186,000 is a minor punishment. Contreras doesn't want to leave that kind of money behind because what other city would be stupid enough to hire him?


  7. Chief Contreras is a stand up guy that made a mistake, took the punishment delivered, and can now put his focus where it needs to be. You learn by example and his future actions will determine the leader he is. He isn't someone that just rode in on his horse. He has devoted a large part of his life, work and personal time, to the City of Hayward and earned the position of Chief.


  8. Fire Fran David and hire Jerry Brown. He's smarter and works for less money & perks than Fran does. She's overpaid and she has no regard for the city or its residents. Contreras is an accident waiting to happen. I guess as long as you are remorseful & honestly stupid you can get away with anything.


  9. A few years ago the Fire Chief for the city of Alameda got fired for filling up his personal vehicle with city gas and this pathetic excuse for a Chief still has a job after being drunk at work more than once. The City Manager and Chief should be fired.


  10. Hayward is a leopard that will never change its spots. One scandal after another. For once a City Manager (or fomer CM) is not directly behind this one. We don't need to worry about the Hayward Fault, Greg Jones. Jesus Armas and Fran David once removed-have rocked the foundation of 777 B ,Street with their extramarital affairs or leniency towards well paid, unruly drunkards I think Fire Chief Contreras should pay the $40,000.00 it cost to investigate him. Fran approved it, but it comes out of the taxpayers pockets. Fran is generous with our tax dollars. Time for City Council to be impeached for not doing their civic duties by firing Contreras and booting Fran out of Hayward because of her lousy judgement! I do agree that FF Local 1909 must have good dirt on Fran & company! If you want to lift Hayward out of the swamp, purge the swamp rats first.


  11. By MW:

    In regard to my immediately above post, in the future I will discuss why 3AM is far and away the favorite time for arson fires when an organized crime connected building owner or his lawyer uses those ties and contacts in organized crime to arrange an arson fire,

    In fact 3AM is an especially favorite time for arson fires arranged by a “torch” working for organized crime when it is the type of building, and such as for example a restaurant or an office building, that is usually unoccupied on the midnight shift.


  12. By MW:

    If Hayward Fire Chief Garrett Contreras is later, and as a result of drinking on duty, eventually involved in an incident that leads to someone dying, and such as for instance a motor vehicle accident or failure to properly respond to a fire in which one or more people die, my position would be that Fran David, Contreras himself, Hayward's mayor, and some of the other big boys in Hayward city government should all receive lifetime prison sentences for murder.

    Frankly, the decision by the big boys in Hayward city government to let Contreras slide on this is so totally outrageous, that therefore I very strongly suspect he has something on them. (For example in the Bay area it seems to be standard procedure for government to award contracts on the basis of which business is willing to pay under the table bribes to the big boys in the various government agencies.)

    And I also wonder whether Hayward perhaps has the same procedure for “investigating” extremely suspicious fires that San Francisco does.

    More specifically in San Francisco, if a fire, and even a multi million dollar fire, was obviously caused by arson, AND IN FACT ARSON ALMOST CERTAINLY ORDERED AND ARRANGED BY THE BUILDING's OWNER OR PRIMARY TENANT, if the party that almost certainly ordered and arranged the arson fire is politically connected, then the clowns and jokers in the SF Fire Department's arson squad, in other words the section of the SFFD that pretends to “investigate” suspicious fires, will, and after of course first going through their choreographed charade of pretending to “investigate” the cause of the fire, every single time end up declaring the fire resulted from bad luck rather than arson. An excellent question is whether the Hayward Fire Dept performs similar favors for certain business owners in Hayward who have friends in City Hall.

    NOTE: In fact if you pay close attention, you will notice that if a building has major asbestos problems, skyhigh vacancy rates, huge negative cash flows, or needs very expensive remodeling to stay in business (and such as a lot of restaurants whose owners for years have consistently been neglecting and falling behind on items they should have been taking care of all along), extremely frequently they suddenly go up in flames between 2AM and 4AM, and especially3AM, in the morning.

    And in some cities, and such as for instance SF, political connections and/or under the table bribes being paid to City Hall can cause even the very most suspicious fires to be declared having resulted from bad luck rather than arson.

    So an excellent question is whether Hayward City Hall and the Hayward Fire Dept have such a program. If so, then obviously the big boys in Hayward city government see themselves as having no choice but to circle the wagons, close ranks, and protect each other.


  13. The Firefighters Union Local 1909 is behind Chief Contreras 100%. Also Local 1909 provides financial backing for at least 6 City Council members, including Mayor Dingbat Halliday. Council supports Fran's harebrained decisions. The next City of Hayward Job Fair should be held at Buffalo Bill's Brewery. They can have a special drinking test for fire personnel. Welcome to Hayward, where we appreciate drunken Fire Chief's. No drinking allowed whem you are in uniform, and please remember to contribute to Jones, Mendall,Peixoto, Halliday, & Zermeno's campaigns!


  14. Fire Fran David. She is an embarrassment to Hayward as well! As long as you raise money for Council's pet projects, all is forgiven. No wonder Hayward is a toilet. Guess Media Guru Frank Holland can't put a positive spin on this one.


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