Posts Tagged ‘dennis herrera’

Uh Oh: “New Violations Escalate Mel Murphy Case” – “Yet Another Illegal Conversion” – More Trouble in the Troubled Mission District

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

Oh, this guy is still a Port Commissioner?

(Oh fuck, Man.)

Hey, I’ll give you just one guess as to who wrote this mini-hagiography:

“Mel Murphy, Commissioner 

Commissioner Mel Murphy is a licensed California Real Estate Broker, Licensed California General Contractor and successful real estate developer in San Francisco and Scottsdale, Arizona. Commissioner Murphy manages Pattani Construction, a development property management firm. He is also the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Murphy & O’Brien Real Estate Investments.

Commissioner Murphy was appointed to the Port Commission by Mayor Edwin Lee in March 2013. He previously served on the San Francisco Building Inspection Commission from 2006 to 2012. Appointed by Mayor Gavin Newsom, Commissioner Murphy served two terms as President and two terms as Vice President of the Commission. Commissioner Murphy is a founding member of the San Francisco Coalition for Responsible Growth, a group that has a mission to promote public policies which will provide responsible growth and rational community development in San Francisco.

Commissioner Murphy was born in Westmeath and educated with the Christian Brothers and St. Mel’s College of Technology in Longford, Ireland, where he developed a lifelong interest in construction engineering and management.

In the early 1970’s he moved to San Francisco where he was headhunted by Bechtel Corporation who appointed him to manage large construction projects in Saudi Arabia. Commissioner Murphy’s technical and managerial competencies were further recognized and he was selected for other projects including the Alaskan pipeline and oil rigs in the North Sea and Chile. Commissioner Murphy returned to San Francisco in 1976.

News from Dennis Herrera’s City Attorney’s Office:

“New violations escalate Mel Murphy case. – Yet another illegal conversion of a residential development by city commissioner demonstrates ‘a pattern that is well-devised, carefully-executed and, above all, willful’

“SAN FRANCISCO (July 28, 2015) — City Attorney Dennis Herrera has amended his civil suit against city commissioner Mel Murphy to include another residential property that the veteran developer converted in violation of state and local laws, and then deliberately concealed for years from his annual disclosures to the San Francisco Ethics Commission.

(more…)

Another Illegal Chalk Ad on the Streets of San Francisco? – HTC ONE – When Will Our Corporate Overlords Learn?

Friday, April 17th, 2015

We’ve been through this kind of thing before. If City Attorney Dennis Herrera discovers this, then whoo boy, there’s going to be trouble for somebody.

As captured by BloomReports today:

CaptureFSFSFF copy

Look Who Else was Doing Chalk Ads on the Sidewalks of San Francisco: Paramount Pictures – “What is CLOVERFIELD? 1-18-08″

Monday, February 9th, 2015

This one flew under the radar, AFAIK:

GO8F6579 copy

Seven years later, here in 2015, you can’t get away this kind of thing anymore…

Uber Beats Lyft Again! – They Both Put Illegal Chalk Ads on Our Sidewalks, But Only Lyft Gets Busted – Plus, a Shakedown

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

A couple years back I passed by this scene on Market, so then I contacted the Uber people by email on my cell…

uberr1a

…and I was all, “Can you do that? I don’t think you can do that.”

Why? Because it’s a chalk ad on a Frisco sidewalk and that aint kosher. I mean, I didn’t know for sure, maybe somebody had approved this and the Uber people had permits, who knows. I was simply “issue-spotting,” as they say.

So then, a half-hour later, the Uberers had these ads hastily obliterated, more or less, as best they could.

And that was that, back in 2013.

And now comes Lyft in 2015 with hopsc0tch chalk on the Streets of San Francisco:

Lyft copy

Except that SFGov is now lowering the boom on Lyft.

(And there might be some shakedown to take money from Lyft to give it to those ugly “SF Beautiful,” people, who are now infamous for suing the City and County of San Francisco? That sounds wrong.)

Anyway, Uber beats Lyft, once again.

Here’s a Clue About How Uber / Uber-X was Evil Going Back Two Years Ago – Marketing on Market Street

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

Here’s why I’m not an employee of the Uber:

Cause like every day I’d be saying, “Can we do that? I don’t think we can do that. Can we say that? I don’t think we can say that.”

I’d be a big Captain Bringdown / Jiminy Cricket.

Like here, a couple years back, on Market. I passed by this scene and so then I contacted the Uber people by email on my cell…

uberr1a

…and I was all, “Can you do that? I don’t think you can do that.”

Why? Because it’s a chalk ad on a Frisco sidewalk and that aint kosher.

I mean, I didn’t know for sure, maybe somebody had approved this and the Uber people had permits, who knows. I was simply “issue-spotting,” as they say.

So then, a half-hour later, the Uberers had these ads hastily obliterated, more or less, as best they could.

Ah, memories…

YOU MIGHT BE A GADFLY IF … the SF City Attorney’s Office Makes a Webpage Just for YOUR Records Requests

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

Like this:

Capturefsffffs copy

Dennis Herrera Throws Down: “Vows Aggressive Defense of the Prop B Waterfront Development Voting Measure”

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

All right, it’s on, the defense of Prop B (2014) is on:

“San Francisco’s participatory waterfront land use decision-making has included voters, elected leaders and appointed commissioners for decades, City Attorney argues

SAN FRANCISCO (July 15, 2014) — The California State Lands Commission today sued San Francisco to invalidate Proposition B, an initiative measure passed in the June 3 election that requires voter approval for waterfront development height increases on property owned or controlled by the Port of San Francisco.  The legal challenge filed in San Francisco Superior Court contends that the California legislature specifically intended to prohibit local voters from exercising authority over bay and coastal public trust lands, strictly limiting management of state tidelands to designated trustees.  In its legal action today, the State Lands Commission argues that the sole trustee responsible for sovereign tidelands in San Francisco is the city’s Port Commission.  The State Lands Commission is additionally seeking a preliminary injunction to bar San Francisco from enforcing Prop B.

In response, City Attorney Dennis Herrera issued the following statement:

“For decades, land use decisions involving San Francisco’s waterfront have included voters, elected leaders and appointed members of our Planning and Port Commissions.  It’s a participatory process that enacted a comprehensive Waterfront Land Use Plan in 1990, developed a showplace ballpark for the Giants, and continues to protect an urban waterfront that is the envy of cities worldwide.  San Francisco’s deliberative decision-making process on waterfront land use has never been successfully challenged, and I intend to defend it aggressively.  With today’s lawsuit, the State Lands Commission seems to have embraced the notion that any local initiative — and, by extension, any land use regulation approved by a Board of Supervisors or Planning Commission — affecting port property is barred by state law, and therefore invalid.  That view represents a radical departure in law and practice from land use decision-making in San Francisco and elsewhere.  While the City must certainly honor its obligations as trustee in managing public trust property, it is a legally and practically untenable position to argue that San Francisco’s voters and elected officials have no direct say over how our city’s waterfront is developed.”

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Dennis Herrera Throws Down: Workers at GMG Janitorial to Get $1.34 Million for “Healthy San Francisco” Violations

Monday, July 7th, 2014

This sounds fair enough:

“Cheated janitors to receive $1.34 million in restitution in healthcare benefits settlement –
Herrera negotiates agreement ending legal appeal; affirming administrative order and S.F. Superior Court ruling to benefit 275 current and former workers

SAN FRANCISCO (July 7, 2014) — City Attorney Dennis Herrera today finalized a settlement agreement with GMG Janitorial, Inc., ending the local company’s legal appeal of an Oct. 16, 2013 San Francisco Superior Court ruling to pay some $1.34 million to 275 of its current and former employees who were denied health care benefit expenditures to which they were entitled under the City’s Health Care Security Ordinance, or HCSO.  Enacted in 2006, the HCSO established the popular “Healthy San Francisco” program and created an employer spending requirement to fund health care benefits for employees in the City.

Under terms of the stipulated amended judgment entered with the Superior Court this morning, GMG Janitorial will remain liable for the full amount of benefits owed to workers under the original administrative orders and court ruling.  The company is required to pay installments of at least $200,000 every six months to a third-party settlement administrator, who will disburse payments to eligible employees, most of whom are Latino.  Financial incentives included in the settlement to satisfy the debt sooner involve dollar amounts otherwise owed to the City, to ensure that workers receive their full compensation plus any interest accrued.  The agreement contains additional provisions governing former employees who can’t be located and securing the debt through liens on the owner’s personal assets.

“This agreement will fully compensate employees who were denied benefits, while also assuring law-abiding competitors that they’ll no longer be undercut by businesses that cheat,” said City Attorney Dennis Herrera.  “I think this settlement reflects the strong ruling Judge Marla Miller issued last October, and I hope it sends an unmistakable message that our Health Care Security Ordinance has teeth, and that we’re committed to enforcing it aggressively.  As always on these kinds of cases, I’m grateful to everyone in the Office of Labor Standards Enforcement for their outstanding work.”

“When low-wage workers are denied their rightful health care benefits, the human consequences are incalculable,” said OLSE Manager Donna Levitt.  “Workers at GMG Janitorial weren’t getting their health care needs addressed when the case came to our attention, and it was gratifying to see GMG start providing their workers health care benefits after OLSE began its investigation.  The settlement finalized today will compensate these employees for what they were rightfully due in the first place.  The vast majority of San Francisco employers comply with both the letter and the spirit of the law, which is why it’s so important that violators are brought to justice.”

The court order issued by Judge Marla J. Miller last October found “substantial evidence” to support prior findings by San Francisco’s Office of Labor Standards Enforcement and an administrative law judge that GMG Janitorial, Inc. failed to make the required expenditures on behalf of its workers for the period 2008 to 2010.  After losing its administrative appeal before the administrative law judge, GMG Janitorial filed suit in Superior Court on July 2, 2012, arguing that the OLSE exceeded its authority under local law by ordering full restitution, and that the administrative law judge’s findings were unsupported by the evidence.  Judge Miller’s ruling decisively rejected both contentions in ordering the company to pay $1,339,028 to its employees “in order to correct its failure to make the required expenditures.”  The order additionally allowed the City to recover its costs in the action in an amount to be determined.

The San Francisco City Attorney’s Office played a key role in working with then-Supervisor Tom Ammiano and Mayor Gavin Newsom to craft the City’s groundbreaking universal health care law enacted in 2006.  Almost immediately thereafter, the office embarked on a four-year legal battle to defend the law from a challenge by the Golden Gate Restaurant Association.  The ordinance was conclusively upheld when the U.S. Supreme Court denied review in the case on June 28, 2010.

San Francisco’s OLSE enforces labor laws adopted by San Francisco voters and the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.  In addition to investigating violations of the Health Care Security Ordinance, OLSE also enforces San Francisco’s Minimum Wage Ordinance; Paid Sick Leave Ordinance; Minimum Compensation Ordinance; Health Care Accountability Ordinance; and Sweatfree Contracting Ordinance.  Violations of the Health Care Security Ordinance may be reported to OLSE at (415) 554-7892 or HCSO@sfgov.org.  Its website ishttp://www.sfgov.org/olse.

The case is: GMG Janitorial, Inc. v. City and County of San Francisco et al., San Francisco Superior Court, Case No. 512328, filed July 2, 2012.”

Dennis Herrera Throws Down: Tells “Monkey Parking” to Drop Mobile App for Auctioning City Parking Spots – $300 Fines?

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

[UPDATE: SFist (lots of comments already), Slate, and the San Francisco Chronicle are on the case.]

Gotta say I sort of saw this one coming.

And it’s not just Monkey Parking that’s in trouble today. Check out the craigslist ad from ParkModo (cached website) (@ParkModo – no Tweets yet, or maybe they were deleted?), posted on June 17th, 2014:

Earn $13.00 P/H Just To Park! (mission district)

Our company is launching an awesome app that rewards people to sell their on-street parking spots before leaving to people who need a spot.

To help us promote the app, we are looking for 20 people with cars and iPhones to park around the mission and use the app to offer their parking spots to people looking for parking.

The hours will be from 5:30-9:00 pm Thurs-Sat starting June 26th.

This is how it works:

1. You download the app from the app store.
2. When you want to work, you will contact our field manager to check in.
3. The field manager will then instruct you as to what area and type of spot you are to park in.
4. You will then find a spot in the area and park.
5. Once you are parked, using the app, you will offer the spot for sale. 
6. While you are waiting for someone to purchase the space, you will distribute postcards and promote the app.
7. Once someone purchases the spot, you will complete the transaction with the buyer and then find another space to park in and start the process all over again!

If you are interested, please click on the link below (Paste into your browser) and provide your information so we can contact you and get you started.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1To5Ck5FrPBMrh35SvJp-WDRg0WDyaLLyuo1_MS8pyV8/viewform?usp=send_form

We look forward to working with you!”

I think ParkModo’s operations will now be on hold, for a little bit at least. But do you want some more from them? See below.

Now, all the deets about all these troubled businesses, from Herrera’s office:

“Herrera tells Monkey Parking to drop mobile app for auctioning city parking spots

Motorists face $300 fines for each violation under existing law, City Attorney says — and three startups could be liable for penalties of up to $2,500 for each transaction

SAN FRANCISCO (June 23, 2014) — San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera today issued an immediate cease-and-desist demand to Monkey Parking, a mobile peer-to-peer bidding app that enables motorists to auction off the public parking spaces their vehicles occupy to nearby drivers.   The app, currently available for iOS devices, describes itself on the Apple iTunes App Store as the “the first app which lets you make money every time that you are about to leave your on-street parking spot.”

The letter Herrera’s office issued this morning to Paolo Dobrowolny, CEO of the Rome, Italy-based tech startup, cites a key provision of San Francisco’s Police Code that specifically prohibits individuals and companies from buying, selling or leasing public on-street parking.  Police Code section 63(c) further provides that scofflaws — including drivers who “enter into a lease, rental agreement or contract of any kind” for public parking spots — face administrative penalties of up to $300 for each violation.  Because Monkey Parking’s business model is wholly premised on illegal transactions, the letter contends that the company would be subject to civil penalties of up to $2,500 per violation under California’s tough Unfair Competition Law were the city to sue.  Such a lawsuit would be imminent, Herrera’s office vowed, should the startup continue to operate in San Francisco past July 11, 2014.

Technology has given rise to many laudable innovations in how we live and work — and Monkey Parking is not one of them,” Herrera said.  “It’s illegal, it puts drivers on the hook for $300 fines, and it creates a predatory private market for public parking spaces that San Franciscans will not tolerate.  Worst of all, it encourages drivers to use their mobile devices unsafely — to engage in online bidding wars while driving.  People are free to rent out their own private driveways and garage spaces should they choose to do so.  But we will not abide businesses that hold hostage on-street public parking spots for their own private profit.”

Herrera’s cease-and-desist demand to Monkey Parking includes a request to the legal department of Apple Inc., which is copied on the letter, asking that the Cupertino, Calif.-based technology giant immediately remove the mobile application from its App Store for violating several of the company’s own guidelines.  Apple App Store Review Guidelines provide that “Apps must comply with all legal requirements in any location where they are made available to users” and that “Apps whose use may result in physical harm may be rejected.”

Two other startups that similarly violate local and state law with mobile app-enabled schemes intended to illegally monetize public parking spaces in San Francisco will also face legal action in the form of cease-and-desist demands this week, according to the City Attorney’s Office.  Sweetch charges a $5 flat fee when its users obtain a parking spot from another Sweetch motorist.  Sweetch drivers who pass their spots off to other Sweetch members are refunded $4 of that fee.  ParkModo, which appears poised to launch later this week, according to recent employment postings on Craigslist, will employ drivers at a rate of $13.00 per hour to occupy public parking spaces in the Mission District.  As with Monkey Parking and Sweetch, ParkModo then plans to sell the on-street parking spots to its paying members through its iPhone app.  Sweetch and ParkModo members who make use of the apps to park in San Francisco are also subject to civil penalties of $300 per violation, and both companies are potentially liable for civil penalties of $2,500 per transaction for illegal business practices under the Cali04fornia Unfair Competition Law.

A copy of Herrera’s demand letter to Monkey Parking and additional information about the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office is available at: http://www.sfcityattorney.org/.”

And here’s a little more from ParkModo:

“We are currently rolling out the beta in the following cities…

San Francisco – As beautiful as city it is, parking is just as bad! Not only is there way to much demand for the supply, but the parking police will catch you if they can! Be among the first 1000 people to download the app and get $5 in free parking!

New York – Instead of calling it the city that never sleeps, they should call it the city that never has parking! Get in on ParkModo and earn some serious cash and stop wasting your time. We know every minute in ny is precious.

Chicago – There may be wind here, but there is certainly no parking! Use ParkModo and fly like the wind when you need a space!”

Dennis Herrera Throws Down: Files Legal Action to End Unlawful SFMTA MUNI “Sick-Out,” Compels Union to Arbitrate

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

The news of the day, this third day of our MUNI crisis:

“Herrera files legal action to end unlawful “sick-out” and compel union to arbitrate wage and benefits dispute

Charges filed before Public Employees Relations Board allege union is flouting contract and City Charter provisions that could bring an end to three-day-old work stoppage

SAN FRANCISCO (June 4, 2014)— On the third day of an unlawful employee “sick-out,” in which transit workers are calling in sick en masse after contract negotiations with the Municipal Transportation Agency reached an impasse, City Attorney Dennis Herrera filed unfair labor practice charges with California’s public labor relations body against Transport Workers Union Local 250-A, seeking to compel the union to end the sick-out and abide by the City Charter by allowing a neutral arbitration board to resolve its contract dispute with the MTA. The charges, filed at the Public Employees Relations Board, the state agency that administers collective bargaining statutes covering public employees, state that in the wake of the union’s rejection of the MTA’s contract offer, the Charter of San Francisco requires the union and the City to submit to the decision of a neutral three-member arbitration board. The complaint further alleges that the sick-out is illegal under both state law and the existing contract with the workers.

“This is an unfortunate attempt by the union to get around a law and contract provisions they don’t like,” Herrera said Tuesday. “The Charter is clear that an impasse such as this one is resolved with neutral arbitration. Let’s do what the law says, begin the arbitration process, and get San Francisco moving again as soon as humanly possible.”

The PERB can take as much as a year or more to issue rulings on allegations of unfair labor practices, but San Francisco officials are hopeful that the filing of the complaint can spur the union into doing the right thing. “Our transit operators have very difficult jobs and deserve fair and competitive wages in return,” said Ed Reiskin, SFMTA Director of Transportation. “At the same time, we have an obligation to provide transit service for 700,000 riders a day and we are asking the union to follow provisions in the Charter and get everyone back to work.”

The existing contract between the union and the MTA forbids strikes and work stoppages such as the sick-out. The MTA announced Monday that it would not pay transit workers for sick time taken during the sick-out unless workers could document that they in fact met the criteria to claim sick leave.

Appendix A, section A8.409-4(a) of the San Francisco City Charter states that “disputes… which remain unresolved after good faith bargaining between the City and County of San Francisco, on behalf of its departments, boards and commissions, and a recognized employee organization representing classifications of employees covered under this part shall be submitted to a three-member Mediation/Arbitration Board (“the Board”) upon the declaration of an impasse either by the authorized representative of the City and County of San Francisco or by the authorized representative of the recognized employee organization involved in the dispute.”