Rachel Marshall, (415) 416-4468, Rachel.Marshall@sfgov.org
San Francisco – Today, District Attorney Chesa Boudin announced that former San Francisco Department of Human Resources manager Rebecca Sherman is being charged with two felony counts of Forgery in violation of California Penal Code section 470(a). The case drew public attention after it was reported last year that, in her capacity working in Human Resources for the City, Ms. Sherman had falsified documents purporting to settle a lawsuit with an employee who had filed a complaint.
“My office will not tolerate those who work in San Francisco’s government agencies defrauding the very people they are entrusted to serve,” said District Attorney Boudin. “The people who live and work in San Francisco deserve to have confidence that government employees act and communicate in good faith.”
According to court documents, Ms. Sherman worked as an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) manager in the City’s Department of Human Resources until she abruptly resigned on September 11, 2020. After resigning, Ms. Sherman admitted in an e-mail to her superiors that she “drafted a document appearing to be a proposed settlement agreement” and provided it to a City employee who had filed an EEO complaint against the City.
Further investigation of this matter revealed that Ms. Sherman had been assigned to investigate the employee’s claims but had failed to do so. Ms. Sherman allegedly repeatedly misled the employee about the status of the investigation and the City’s willingness to settle the employee’s claim in court. Eventually, in an alleged effort to mislead the employee into believing that the City intended to settle her claim, Ms. Sherman created a false settlement agreement between the City and the employee, and forged the electronic signatures of three City employees (including two attorneys). Ms. Sherman provided the false settlement agreement to the employee in July 2020. Believing the agreement to be real, the employee asked for some changes to be made. Ms. Sherman then allegedly forged the same signatures on an amended false settlement agreement, and again sent it to the employee in August.
Believing that the settlement agreement was real and binding, the employee then moved to dismiss her lawsuit against the City. It was only after doing so that the employee discovered that the settlement agreement was a forgery. Ms. Sherman then resigned from the Department of Human Resources.
This case was investigated by District Attorney Investigators with the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, and is being prosecuted by the Office’s Special Prosecutions Unit. Ms. Sherman surrendered today to be booked. The District Attorney’s Office is not seeking her detention. The arraignment is scheduled for the afternoon of July 15, 2021.