“Hey, there, Mr. District Attorney,” I said, my voice sounding a bit scratchy. I was tired and feeling a little groggy. “Heard you were on your deathbed, so I thought I’d better get my ass down here before they read you your last rites,” chuckled D.A. Leland Campbell. I tried to smile, but it wasn’t happening. “Listen, Sam, the story of the Chief’s death is going to be in all the papers tomorrow, as well as all the T.V. stations. I just stared at Campbell. Frankly, I thought it would’ve happened long before this. “So, am I still in this thing?” I asked. “As long as it takes you to unravel the damned mess before the cops do,” he answered. I nodded.
“What d’ya hear if anything about the coppers progress in solving this thing?” I asked. “I have no idea.
I’ve been trying to glean any info I could from the department. So far, they haven’t yet returned any
inquiries.” The D.A said. “Just what does the media know as far as the condition of the Chief?” I asked. “You mean do they know he was dressed in women’s clothing?” Campbell said. “Yeah, something like that,” I said. “As far as I know - no, they haven’t,” the D.A. replied.
“You know it won’t be long before it comes out. Oh, and you know Martha Cantu is now the interim Chief. That, by itself, is a source of consternation. The ‘old guard’ is not very happy that the Police Commission chose her over some ‘favorite sons’ of the department,” the D.A. said.
Martha Cantu. There were rumors that she had fucked her way to the top, but that’s what most male cops say when a broad climbs the ladder in the police ranks. I knew different. There is some sexual hanky-panky going on in the S.F police department, as there is for many police departments, but, for the most part, I found gal cops to be hard-working, diligent, and smart.
I knew Martha. She was a young ‘go-getter’ when I worked vice. It was apparent that she was going somewhere in the department. “Martha was a great choice. I remember when she made Lieutenant. She wasn’t quite thirty. You know, Lee, I think I’ll put a call into her tomorrow and congratulate her. Maybe ask her out to lunch,” I said, smiling.
Then, Campbell said, “I understand there were some photographs you were looking for at Chief O’Halloran’s house. Is that right?” I nodded. “Well, do me a favor, Sam. Would you bring those photos to me when and if you find them before you do anything else with them?” I hesitated to answer him. I don’t know why, but I thought there was the slightest hint of desperation in his voice. It sent up a red flag, and after he left, I began asking myself some questions.
Questions such as why was he so interested in the photographs? What was the real reason D.A. Campbell asked me to get involved in the first place? Why would he care about ‘saving face’ for the S.F. Police Department? If that was the real reason. As far as I knew, he wasn’t one of the department’s favorite city officials. Who was he really trying to protect? Was there something he wanted me to find before the cops did? What was it? I had to get out there and ‘beat the bushes’ more than ever.
To be continued…