By Paige Laver
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin announced this week he will be charging defendant Rebecca Sherman, the San Francisco Department of Human Resources manager, with two felony counts of forgery that violated California’s Penal Code section 470(a).
Penal Code § 470(a) involves falsifying a signature, a seal, or counterfeiting documents as part of a fraud scheme.
Last year, while working in the city’s Human Resource Department, Sherman was assigned to an employee’s claim but failed to investigate, and misled the employee thinking that the city intended to settle the claim, said Boudin.
Sherman created a false settlement agreement that was between the City and the employee, where she forged three signatures of three city employees, Boudin explained. He added she then came up with the settlement agreement in July 2020, where the employee believed the settlement that she provided, and the employee requested to adjust some changes on the settlement agreement.
After the employee discussed these changes, Sherman forged the signatures again in August 2020 on an amended false settlement agreement, said Boudin.
After Sherman allegedly forged these signatures, the employee saw the settlement agreement that was sent to them in August, and the employee dropped the lawsuit against the city—and soon after the lawsuit was dropped the employee realized the settlement agreement was forgery.
As a result of the false settlement agreement, Sherman resigned from the Human Resource Department, and an email was sent out revealing her forgery.
Sherman’s alleged forgery was first sent to a large percentage of the city government in a mass email in late September of 2020, and one of these city employees who received this email was San Francisco District Attorney, Chesa Boudin.
In the same month, Boudin said that he would open a case for a criminal investigation into Sherman’s alleged actions.
The email was penned by the Human Resources manager, Micki Callahan, with the subject line “Corruption at DHR.” In the communication between Callahan, Sherman was a rogue employee who deleted records from the department’s databases, forged text messages, and created a false settlement for a Black Muni employee who experienced acts of racism at work.
The City’s Black Employee’s Alliance sent out a letter after Callahan’s email was sent out, which stated that multiple employees who filed discrimination complaints suffered consequences such as being manipulated, aggrieved, assaulted, and defrauded by the Department of Human Resources and its Equal Opportunity Office, who were provided with fraudulent settlement agreements.
The employee that Sherman lied to and provided forged signatures and misleading information is not the only employee to whom she lied and gave misleading information.
In fact, Sherman strung allegedly along a lifelong firefighter chief, claiming their discrimination case was close to completion, but the investigation claim was never completed.
According to court documents, Sherman worked as an Equal Opportunity Employee (EOE) manager in San Francisco’s Human Resources Department, and after she resigned, she reached out to her supervisor where a document was drafted that appeared to be a proposed settlement agreement, and provided this document to a city employee who filed for an EOE against the city.
The case began to become publicized and was sent to the District Attorney’s office to be further investigated.
As Boudin announced the charges against Rebecca Sherman, he stated, “My office will not tolerate those who work in San Francisco’s agencies defrauding the very people they are entrusted to serve.”
He continued, “The people who live and work in San Francisco deserve to have confidence that government employees act and communicate in good faith.”
Sherman will be facing a possible three year and eight month sentence, with an arraignment scheduled in mid-July.
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