DA Completes Review of Allegations Regarding OPD’s Sgt Gantt

The top priority of the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office is to ensure that criminal prosecutions are conducted ethically and professionally. The attorneys in this office stand by the integrity of each case brought into a court of law. We take very seriously our obligation to see that justice is served and that the rights of both victims and criminal defendants are upheld.

This office also seeks to keep the public informed about matters of concern. To that end, we would like to provide a thorough update on a matter revealed to this office on June 12, 2016. At that time, the Oakland Police Department brought to our attention allegations that OPD Sergeant Mike Gantt involved a third party in the transcription of certain audio recordings that were part of criminal investigations. This office immediately opened an inquiry into this matter.

We took the following steps and have made the following findings:

This office interviewed the third party to determine the timeline, nature and extent of her involvement.

It was determined that the third party transcribed audio recordings between May of 2013 and January, 2014.

The interview revealed that: during this timeframe, Sgt. Gantt would bring her CDs of audio recordings and she would transcribe verbatim the recordings in a Word document on his laptop. She was only given the CDs and never saw any other documents or paperwork including the police report, any criminal history, any DMV information or Sgt. Gantt’s notes. She never saw any finished police reports.

After she transcribed the recordings on Sgt. Gantt’s laptop, he would take the computer and CDs with him when he left. She typed the information onto his computer only and never used any other devices or flash drives. She never discussed the cases with Gantt. She could not state the exact number of cases on which she transcribed verbatim recordings.

There were ten criminal cases involving investigation by Sgt. Gantt and prosecuted by this office that fall within the above stated timeline. Of the ten cases, seven have resolved by way of a jury trial or plea of guilty. Three are still pending. Those cases are:

Concluded cases
170023 – People v. Nathaniel York/Jamal York
169742 – People v. Jamaz Pearson
173836 – People v. Ronald Shipman
172254 – People v. Nathaniel Cook
171599 – People v. Terrance King
172522 – People v. Joe McNeely/Donel Poston
175707 – People v. Roy Jones

Pending cases
176960 – People v. Harold Smith
176746 – People v. Mario Floyd
173220 – People v. Michael Monert

We have pulled each of those case files and thoroughly reviewed all reports and audio recordings to make certain that all evidence was complete and that both the DA’s files as well as all discovery provided to the defense was complete. In any criminal case, all source audio recordings are provided to both the prosecution and the defense in full, often along with written summaries and/or transcriptions that may been created by the investigating agency.

As to the seven concluded cases, we are certain that the defense received all discovery. As to the three pending cases, the deputy district attorneys assigned to those cases are working directly with the defense attorneys on any discovery issues.

The defense attorneys on all of these cases, both concluded and pending, have been notified by written letter of this issue and our findings.

After a thorough review of all matters involving Sgt. Gantt, the Office finds that, while Sgt. Gantt may have violated internal departmental policy, no criminal conduct occurred. There is no provision in the Penal Code that prohibits engaging third party transcriptionists. Likewise, we have no reason to believe that the investigation was mishandled in any way that compromises past or current criminal prosecutions.

We stand behind the integrity of each of these criminal cases.


Posted on Jun 23, 2016