The case involves Gerard's undercover work after he left the CIA, as a San Francisco police inspector in the department's now disbanded intelligence division. He has not been charged.
Gerard does not deny "snooping and pooping on people in the U.S.," as he put it, and working with Roy Bullock, a small-time San Francisco art dealer who told the FBI he infiltrated right-wing and Arab-American groups and prepared hundreds of secret files for the Anti-Defamation League.
Gerard said he and Bullock routinely rifled through bags of garbage they collected outside the homes of people affiliated with suspect political groups they jokingly classified as "right-wing, left-wing and chicken-wing."
"We were the kings of garbage," Gerard said. "I love garbage. Because garbage doesn't lie."
Gerard said he first brought Bullock to the FBI in about 1986 after Bullock provided a file that helped San Francisco police find a deranged neo-Nazi who had bombed synagogues and African-American studies classrooms. Gerard said he told the FBI that Bullock was a secret investigator for the Anti-Defamation League and persuaded them to hire Bullock as a paid informant.
A spokesman for the FBI in San Francisco declined to comment on Gerard's assertion, but detailed court documents indicate that Bullock was a part-time informant for the FBI who collected one payment of $500. In contrast, Bullock has been paid a regular stipend by the Anti-Defamation League since 1960--now $550 a week.
Gerard now blames Bullock for setting him up as a fall guy in the investigation. Gerard said that he bought his IBM clone home computer from Bullock several years ago, "and when I got it all the files were already there."
Police, who seized the computer, said the program included files on 7,011 people and political groups, spanning the spectrum from right to left. Gerard expressed amazement at the figure, saying he only thought he had 300 or 400 such files.
"It doesn't matter," he added. "I'm not suggesting I didn't know what was there." He said the files were mostly published information about right-wing groups, including skinheads, neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan. "It doesn't seem unreasonable to me to keep track of some loon who paints swastikas on synagogues," he said.
Bullock's attorney, Bob Breakstone, disputed Gerard's version of events and said it was "ludicrous" to believe that Bullock would enter the files in Gerard's computer without his knowledge. "He asked for it," Breakstone said Friday.
The attorney also said he was disappointed Gerard was trying to blame Bullock, noting that it was Gerard who introduced Bullock to a South African agent who allegedly purchased information from the duo.
"It's sad he has chosen to strike out at Roy, because Roy really likes Tom," Breakstone said.
Gerard also flatly denied Bullock's claim to police that the two began selling information to the South African government in 1987 and split about $16,000 as payment for providing information on foes of apartheid and journalists, among others.
But he said he helped the South African consul general in Los Angeles several years ago and was given a coffee table book of wildlife photos in thanks.
Gerard said he does not know how or why a file filled with incorrect data on Scott Kraft, the Los Angeles Times correspondent based in South Africa, was apparently taken from his computer and sold to the white-ruled government.
"I don't know anything about that," he said. "I'm not suggesting it wasn't in my computer. I don't know if it was."
Gerard also denied providing Bullock with driver's license records, including photographs, and complete files on various Nazi groups when the city ordered the police intelligence division disbanded and the files destroyed, as Bullock told the FBI.
But Gerard said he did share information from the files. "At the time the intelligence division shut down, there were things we were working on," he said. "That information went forth, not the files themselves."
Gerard was interviewed by FBI agents in San Francisco last October. He said they threatened him with "a lifestyle change" in prison if he did not cooperate. Instead, he hopped a flight to the Philippines, a country with which the United States has no extradition treaty. He sent his retirement papers to the Police Department in November.
Gerard said they also questioned him about overseas bank accounts. "Here's my only foreign bank account," he insisted, showing a Philippine bank passbook opened in March and now containing the peso equivalent of about $1,200.
He said he earned about $77,000 last year. That includes, he said, $10-an-hour stints as a uniformed security guard for Philippine Airlines at the San Francisco International Airport and free-lance fees for writing articles for two intelligence newsletters published in London and Paris.
He said the FBI is looking at 16 checks in his San Francisco bank account and last week interviewed one of his sons, a Marine, in Hawaii.