A judge dismissed criminal charges Friday against a former San Francisco policeman accused of conspiring to gather secret files on thousands of political activists.
Municipal Court Judge J. Dominique Olcomendy cited the refusal of the FBI, which initially investigated the case, to turn over all its records on former Detective Thomas Gerard. The withheld records may include material essential to Gerard’s defense, the judge said.
Early last year, police seized 12,000 files kept by Gerard and Roy Bullock, an investigator for the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith.
Prosecutors said the files contained information on hundreds of political organizations and thousands of individuals, ranging from neo-Nazi skinheads to anti-apartheid activists and critics of the Israeli government.
Gerard, a retired 25-year police veteran who says he is a former CIA agent, was in the Philippines when the files were seized but was arrested when he returned to San Francisco last May. He was charged on one felony count of conspiracy to gather intelligence illegally and to obstruct justice, and four felony counts of concealing government documents.