Posts Tagged ‘dennis herrera’

City Attorney Dennis Herrera Sues Former Supervisor Michael Yaki for More Than 70 Violations of City’s Lobbyist Ordinance

Wednesday, December 4th, 2013

Well, I suppose I can’t oppose enforcement of the Lobbyist Ordinance.

[And I'll mention that the "Yaki Compromise" would have had numerous salutary effects and would have saved lives lost due to the horrible Octavia Boulevard project.]

Herrera sues former Supervisor Yaki for more than 70 violations of City’s lobbyist ordinance

Lobbying for Rescue Air Systems, Inc. in the legislative process involving Fire Code revisions, Yaki ‘brazenly flouted a law with which he had no excuse to be unfamiliar’

SAN FRANCISCO (Dec. 4, 2013) — City Attorney Dennis Herrera today filed suit against former Supervisor Michael Yaki for more than 70 violations of the city’s lobbyist ordinance during the time Yaki was paid to advocate for the interests of his client, Rescue Air Systems, Inc., in the legislative process that revised San Francisco’s Fire Code earlier this year.  According to the complaint filed in San Francisco Superior Court this morning, “Yaki flouted the lobbyist ordinance in every way” by failing to register as a lobbyist, failing to disclose the amounts and sources of payments for lobbying, and failing to report his lobbying contacts.  The complaint, which was filed with 15 accompanying declarations from Board members, legislative aides, fire commissioners and S.F. Fire Department Chief Joanne Hayes-White, alleges that Yaki misrepresented his identity as a paid lobbyist when trying to set up meetings with five Supervisors.  

The city’s lobbyist ordinance provides for civil penalties of up to $5,000 per violation, or three times the amount of compensation scofflaw lobbyists fail to report — whichever is greater.  Yaki himself voted to support the ordinance in 2000 while a member of the Board of Supervisors.

“San Francisco’s Lobbyist Ordinance is a good government cornerstone that brings needed transparency to our local legislative process,” said Herrera.  “It imposes a simple requirement on lobbyists to disclose the nature and extent of work they do for their clients, and other paid advocates have managed to comply with it thousands of times.  Unfortunately, in the case we’ve filed today, the evidence is overwhelming that Mr. Yaki brazenly flouted a law with which he had no excuse to be unfamiliar.  Our lobbyist ordinance fulfills a very important function in our local government, and its aggressive enforcement is essential to the legitimacy of the law itself.” 

San Carlos, Calif.-based Rescue Air Systems, Inc. manufactures a patented “firefighter air replenishment system,” or FARS, which San Francisco’s Fire Code has required since 2004 for new buildings with a height of 75 feet or more.  When city policymakers undertook their periodic revision to the local Fire Code beginning last year, Fire Chief Hayes-White was among numerous city officials to oppose extending the FARS requirement because the San Francisco Fire Department had never used or trained on the system, and because firefighters “do not have confidence that the air coming from the FARS pipes is safe and breathable, or that the system has been checked and maintained on regular basis,” according to Hayes-White’s declaration.  

Yaki engaged in extensive lobbying efforts over a period of more than a year on Rescue Air Systems’ behalf to retain the FARS requirement.  According to the city’s complaint and supporting declarations, the former supervisor lobbied fire commissioners, S.F. Fire Department officials, staff in the Mayor’s Office, and members of the Board of Supervisors and legislative aides to extend the legal requirement for an air replenishment system that only one company — Yaki’s client — manufactured.  The City Attorney’s Office’s investigation secured evidence of at least 70 lobbying contacts, including more than 10 lobbying meetings with Supervisors and their legislative aides and more than 50 emails to city officials on behalf of Rescue Air Systems’ interests in the Fire Code revision process.  

Yaki’s lobbying efforts ultimately proved largely unsuccessful.  San Francisco’s Fire Commission passed a motion recommending that the FARS requirement be altered to offer developers a choice of whether to install FARS or a firefighter service elevator to facilitate oxygen delivery.  That recommendation was adopted as part of the San Francisco Fire Code amendments unanimously approved by the Board of Supervisors in September, which Mayor Ed Lee approved on Oct. 3, 2013.  

The case is: Dennis Herrera in his Official Capacity as San Francisco City Attorney v. Michael Yaki, San Francisco Superior Court, filed Dec. 4, 2013.  Due to the large file size of the 468-page court filing, the complete presskit with accompanying declarations is not being emailed but is available for download on the City Attorney’s website at: http://www.sfcityattorney.org/index.aspx?page=570.”

More Backbone for Our Invertebrate Ethics Commish: “Dennis Herrera Names Peter Keane to San Francisco Ethics Commission”

Monday, October 21st, 2013

In one fell swoop, our ethics commish has become 40%* vertebrate, a strong minority:

“Herrera names Peter Keane to San Francisco Ethics Commission. Law professor, former law school dean and Chief Assistant S.F. Public Defender brings ‘extraordinary professionalism and legal credentials’ to five-member panel

SAN FRANCISCO (Oct. 21, 2013)—City Attorney Dennis Herrera today named law professor and law school dean emeritus Peter Keane to the San Francisco Ethics Commission. Keane brings a wealth of experience in law and government ethics issues to the five-member panel, which is charged with serving citizens, public officials and political candidates through education and enforcement of ethics laws and regulations.

Keane currently serves as a professor of law and dean emeritus at Golden Gate University Law School, and as a visiting professor at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, where he teaches evidence, criminal procedure, constitutional law and professional responsibility. He served for 20 years as San Francisco’s Chief Assistant Public Defender, and was appointed by the Board of Supervisors in 2004 to serve a term on the San Francisco Police Commission. Keane, a former president of the Bar Association of San Francisco and vice-president of the State Bar of California, remains a highly sought-after legal commentator for local, national, and international news organizations, and has hosted numerous legal roundtables and radio programs, including “Keane on the Law” for KPIX Radio. He authored 1994’s Proposition 190, the successful statewide ballot measure that amended California’s Constitution to reform and restructure the Commission on Judicial Performance, the agency that oversees the California Judiciary.

“Peter Keane brings extraordinary professionalism and legal credentials to the San Francisco Ethics Commission, and I know San Franciscans will be extremely well served by his experience as an educator and veteran public servant,” Herrera said. “Peter’s dedication to the cause of justice and remarkable knowledge of government ethics will be an enormously valuable asset for the commission and the citizens it serves.”

The San Francisco Charter specifies that the City Attorney’s appointment to the Ethics Commission have a background in law as it relates to government ethics. Created by voters with the passage of Proposition K in November 1993, the Ethics Commission is empowered to, among other things, administer the City’s ethics laws, including its campaign contribution, conflict of interest, lobbying and whistle-blowing laws; to investigate alleged violations of those laws and to impose penalties; and to submit proposed ordinances directly to voters relating to government ethics.

Keane fills the vacancy created by the resignation of Herrera’s prior appointee, Jamienne S. Studley, who was recently appointed to serve as Deputy Undersecretary of the U.S. Department of Education in the Obama Administration. The unexpired term is set to lapse on Feb. 1, 2014.”

*Keane plus Benedict Y. Hur, Esq., vs., you know, three jellyfish.

San Francisco’s Proposed Ban on Aerial Advertising is Just Asking for Litigation – Lots and Lots of Litigation

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013

And I’ll tell you, the ban, if enacted, will work about as well as our ban on “rolling billboard” trucks, which is not well at all.

Hello, BOS? You can’t rely on the Honolulu decision. Well, maybe technically you can.*

But if they millionaires of SoMA are crying, I guess you all should pass whatever unconstitutional crap you want, what do I care.

As seen (over Union Square) (and heard only a little) yesterday, the scourge of millionaire condo owners everywhere:

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*But not IRL, not really.

Oh, So _That’s_ What the Central Subway Looks Like – A Giant Hole in the Ground at the Foot of Stockton – “Don’t Dig There!”

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

The Central Subway project might make sense politically (let’s take money from taxpayers from all over America to pay for a big project in our little-big city), but it doesn’t make sense from a transit standpoint.

Down down we go, under Market Street, under the MUNI Metro, and under the BART. When you pass by, you should crumple up all your ones and fives on you and throw them into this sinkhole because that’s what you’re already doing and what you will be doing far far into the future.

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Oh, what’s that, “transit justice,” they say? Well, most of the victims of this project live in San Francisco and most of them aren’t caucasoids, so I don’t know what the fuck that phrase means in the context  of this ridiculous scheme.

The project promotes transit justice by providing reliable, efficient, and safe transit for those who live in Chinatown and those who want to visit Chinatown.”

Does City Attorney Dennis Herrera believe this bullshit? No. Does Supervisor Scott Wiener? No. How about closeted Republican Supervisor Mark Farrell? No. How about Board of Supervisors President David Chiu? No.

Oh well.

Don’t dig there and dig it elsewhere
You’re digging it round and it ought to be square
The shape of it is wrong, it’s much too long
And you can’t put a hole where a hole don’t belong

The Hole in the Ground” was a comic song which was written by Myles Rudge and composed by Ted Dicks. When recorded by Bernard Cribbins and released by EMI on the Parlophone label in 1962, it was a hit in the UK charts.[1][2]

The song is about a dispute between a workman digging a hole and an officious busybod y wearing a bowler hat. This exemplifies English class conflict of the era and Cribbins switches between a working class Cockney accent, in which he drops his aitches, and a middle class accent for the gentleman in the bowler hat.

Can You Really Sign Binding Legal Documents with Your Handle? Yes – Meet “John The Animal Protector Mounier”

Monday, January 14th, 2013

Here he is:

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I’ve never seen anything like that in a signature line.

In other news, Charlie lives – he just got a life sentence on a farm someplace after his mouthpiece struck a plea bargain with Dennis Herrera and the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office.

But, come to think of it, attorney John Mounier is actually “The Animal Attacker Protector,” IRL.

Oh well.

U.S. Supreme Court Sets Prop 8 Date: March 26 – DOMA Challenge Too – Back-to-Back Showdown Over LGBT Civil Rights

Monday, January 7th, 2013

Well here’s the big news, direct from the Office of San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera, below.

Via Steve Rhodes - click to expand

“U.S. Supreme Court sets Prop 8 oral argument date for March 26

DOMA challenge scheduled for the next day, setting the stage for back-to-back showdown over LGBT civil rights

SAN FRANCISCO (Jan. 7, 2013) — The U.S. Supreme Court moments ago published its formal argument calendar for March 2013, scheduling oral arguments in the federal constitutional challenge to California’s Proposition 8, called Hollingsworth v. Perry, for March 26, beginning at 10:00 a.m. EDT (7:00 a.m. PDT).

Another case that is also related to same-sex marriage rights — a challenge to the constitutionality of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA — will be heard the following day, on March 27, at the same time. That case is called United States v. Windsor.

In granting review to both marquee marriage equality cases exactly one month ago, the nation’s highest court set the stage for potentially landmark rulings on LGBT civil rights that promise to be the most eagerly-anticipated of the current court term. Rulings are expected by the end of June.

The legal issues at stake in the challenge to Prop 8, the controversial 2008 ballot measure that eliminated marriage rights for same-sex partners in California, are two-fold: first, whether the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment prohibits the State of California from defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman; and second, whether the proponents of Prop 8 have legal standing to litigate the case.

The American Foundation for Equal Rights filed the lawsuit in May 2009 on behalf two California couples who sought to marry: Kris Perry and Sandy Stier, and Paul Katami and Jeff Zarrillo. They are represented by lead counsel Theodore B. Olson and David Boies. City Attorney Dennis Herrera intervened as a co-plaintiff in the case in August 2009, renewing San Francisco’s groundbreaking pubic sector legal advocacy for the broader societal interest to end marriage discrimination against lesbian and gay couples. At trial, Herrera and his legal team provided extensive evidence that state and local governments derive significant societal and economic benefits when same-sex partners enjoy equal marriage rights — and, conversely, that denying such rights inflicts grave injustices on the LGBT community that, in turn, harm government and society at large.

When the high court granted review to the case on Dec. 7, 2012, Herrera said: “The federal challenge to Prop 8 represents one of the most significant civil rights cases to be taken up by the U.S. Supreme Court in decades, and I’m confident that the high court will reach a decision that reaffirms our Constitution’s promise of equal protection under the law.”

The U.S. Supreme Court’s argument calendar for March is published online here:

http://www.supremecourt.gov/oral_arguments/argument_calendars/MonthlyArgumentCalMar2013.pdf

The comprehensive timeline of San Francisco’s legal battle for marriage equality since February 2004 is available on City Attorney Dennis Herrera’s website at:

http://www.sfcityattorney.org/index.aspx?page=23

The Prop 8 case is: Hollingsworth v. Perry, U.S. Supreme Court, Docket No. 12-144.  The DOMA case is: United States v. Windsor, U.S. Supreme Court, Docket No. 12-307.”

Tink happy tots…

DJH and company, 2008, Civic Center:

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City Attorney Dennis Herrera Stars in “Call Me Baby” Parody for the Money Mart Settlement – Deadline Oct 1st

Saturday, September 15th, 2012

Here it is:

I was waiting for a stinger at the end, maybe involving DJH, you know, bookends, but anyway, all the deets:

“San Francisco City Attorney Dennis J. Herrera and Money Mart (also known as Loan Mart) have reached a settlement requiring Money Mart to repay California consumers up to $7.5 million

How much is each repayment?

Repayments will range from $20 to $1,800.

Who is eligible to make a claim for repayment?

You are eligible to make a claim for repayment if:

1) you borrowed a pay day advance loan (sometimes called a “Cash ’til Payday” loan) at a Money Mart or Loan Mart store between January 2005 and July 2005, or

2) you borrowed an installment loan (sometimes called a “CustomCash” loan) at a Money Mart or Loan Mart store between July 2005 and March 2007.

(more…)

Commercial Folk Art: The Fillmore’s National Dollar Store, Where Everything Costs “‘______’ Or Less”

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

Isn’t it beautiful?

All your favorite brands are here:

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(And guess who owns the building in the background: Robert Redford / Sundance!)

Of course the National Dollar used to advertise Everything $1 or Less but there came a time when that wasn’t actually true, so City Attorney Dennis Herrera got after them.

So now the sign says “Everything ___ or Less.”

Hurray!

(Bonus: National Dollar Sidewalk Bling)

 

What’s That PG&E? You’re Sponsoring a “Green App” Contest for $25k? Well, That Makes Up for San Bruno and EVERYTHING!

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

I don’t know, PG&E. Sometimes I get the idea that you don’t know that you are the suckiest major utility in the United States…

Hey, I know, why not develop an app what tells you how to do your job without blowing people up?

(And then apply to the CPUC to get reimbursed for all your related expenses. Hooray.)

Via David Yu - click to expand

“PG&E Sponsors U.S. Department of Energy Green Button Apps Contest

Utility Offers $25,000 Toward National Prize for Top Energy Apps

SAN FRANCISCO, March 22, 2012 — After seeing the potential for customers to save energy and money by downloading personal energy data through its Green Button service, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is supporting further industry innovation by sponsoring a nationwide search for the best Green Button energy apps.

The Apps for Energy contest is a partnership with the White House, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), and U.S. technology firms. The developer finalists who create the winning apps for phones and computers will take home part of a $100,000 cash prize from sponsors PG&E, Itron and the DOE, as well as national bragging rights.

“Green Button will arm millions of Americans with information they can use to lower their energy bills,” said Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality. “Innovative tools like these are good for our economy, good for the health of our communities, and an essential part of our approach toward a secure and clean energy future that works for Americans.”

PG&E launched the Green Button in December 2011, responding to a challenge from the White House to design a standard format for customers with SmartMeters(TM) to download their energy use data online. The Green Button aims to promote personal energy awareness and development of phone and computer apps to aid customers in making informed decisions about their energy use and help them save money on their monthly energy statement. To date, there have been about 220,000 Green Button downloads.

“There is incredible power and potential in providing our customers with new visibility into their energy use, with information that’s clear accurate, timely, and easy to use,” said Tony Earley, PG&E Corporation’s Chairman, CEO and President. “Today’s announcement shows PG&E’s commitment to stimulating growth and innovation in the developer community. When it comes to energy management, we are driven to help transform the way our customers manage energy in their home.”

The DOE has long supported energy innovation, driving a nationwide push for more renewable energy sources and encouraging every American to become more engaged with how they use energy.

“Providing consumers with easy access to data on their energy consumption can help give them the tools they need to make informed decisions about their energy use,” U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu has said. “Developing applications and services to help consumers understand and control their energy use is a field ripe for American innovation.”

App developers will be able to participate by registering at challenge.gov and submitting a description, video, photos, and a link to their app. The website energy.gov/developer will be the main resource page for developers. Both sites will go live April 5. Until then, the public can submit ideas for energy apps at energy.gov. The winner is planned to be announced in May.

PG&E customers with an electric SmartMeter(TM) and a My Energy account can log on at pge.com/myenergy, click on the Green Button icon, and download up to 13 months of their hourly electric usage data. About half of the utility’s electric customers – or 2.3 million – are registered with My Energy.

Green Button is one of many energy- and cost-saving benefits available to PG&E customers with a SmartMeter(TM). Other benefits include:

– Hourly electric and daily gas usage data charts via a secure PG&E
website
— Energy Alerts to notify customers when they’re approaching a
higher-priced electric tier and to encourage a change in their energy
use
— Outage detection to help PG&E quickly restore service
— Remote service connection as a convenience for customers
— Special time-varying rate programs like SmartRate(TM)
— Enabling in-home energy management devices that display the energy usage
of appliances

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to 15 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit http://www.pge.com/about/newsroom/ and www.pgecurrents.com.

SOURCE Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Pacific Gas and Electric Company”

Former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown on Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi – Comments

Monday, March 19th, 2012

Off we go:

“San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee has arrived at the first moment of truth for his still-fledging administration – what to do about Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi.

OK WILLIE, YOU’RE GOING TO NEED TO USE YOUR WORDS. THIS IS HIS FIRST MOMENT OF TRUTH BECAUSE… BECAUSE WHY? HE COULD LET THE WHOLE THING SLIDE AND THEN THAT WOULD BE THAT, RIGHT? THERE WOULD NO “MOMENT” OF ANYTHING.

The plea bargain that was struck in Mirkarimi’s case, in which he pleaded guilty to false imprisonment of his wife rather than a clear charge of domestic violence, has dropped the mayor into “the barrel,” as we say in politics.

“BARREL? I’VE NEVER HEARD THAT TERM USED IN THIS CONTEXT. BUT IF YOU SAY SO…

The mayor has to decide whether to try to force Mirkarimi’s removal from office – a tough call under any circumstances, but one made doubly tough by the politics surrounding the decision.

TOUGH CALL? PLEASE EXPLICATE.

For one, the false-imprisonment conviction [sic] lets Mirkarimi keep his gun, so the mayor can’t try to remove him on the grounds he can’t perform his duties.

UH, HOW WEAK AN ARGUMENT IS THIS? SHERIFF OF SAN FRANCISCO IS A ELECTED, POLITICAL JOB. IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH GUNMANSHIP OR WHATHAVEYOU. (RIGHT? OTHERWISE, THE CANDIDATES WOULD DEBATE BY SIMPLY MEETING AT THE SHOOTING RANGE INSTEAD OF THE GENTEEL COMMOMWEALTH CLUB.

Second, the person Lee is largely relying on for legal advice is City Attorney Dennis Herrera – who just ran against him for mayor and might do so again in 2015.

OK, BUT HOW DOES THIS HELP US?

If the mayor does seek to oust Mirkarimi, it will be up to Herrera to press the case – so Herrera has to be thinking about winding up in the barrel as well.

SO WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? THAT DENNIS WILL BE TEMPTED TO GIVE BAD ADVICE TO SAVE HIS OWN SKIN? REALLY?

Third, should Lee pursue this, he’ll be putting all the supervisors on the hot seat, because they’re the jury that decides whether the sheriff stays or goes.

MOST OF THE SUPERVISORS WOULD NOT BE IN THE “HOT SEAT.” THEY WOULD JUST VOTE AS THey’re TOLD BY THE WILLIE BROWN POLITICAL FACTION, AS PER USUAL.

It would be especially uncomfortable for Mirkarimi’s fellow progressives who are up for re-election in the fall.

I THINK IT WOULD BE MORE UNCOMFORTABLE FOR THE “PROGRESSIVES” WHO ARE NOT UP FOR RE-ELECTION IN THE FALL… THINK ABOUT IT WILLIE.

They are not going to be happy about being put in the barrel, either.

BARREL, WTF? OH, I REMEMBER NOW WHAT THAT MEANS. I THINK. (DID YOU JUST MAKE UP A WORD, WILLIE? I THINK SO.)

On the other hand, if the mayor doesn’t pursue Mirkarimi’s removal, he and he alone will have to answer to critics as to why the sheriff was allowed to stay on after being convicted.

WELL, BECAUSE IT WAS EXPEDIENT HE COULD SAY. ED LEE NEEDS TO BALANCE THE PROS AND CONS OF HOW SUCH AN ACTION BENEFITS AND HARMS HIS (AND ACTUALLY, WILLIE, _YOUR_) FACTION.

At the very least, if Lee opts not to pursue the case, he should make the city attorney’s opinion public. At least that way, he could point the finger elsewhere.

WOW, NOW THERE’S SOME SOLID ADVICE.

No matter what the call, if I were Mirkarimi, I would be really worried about July. That’s when recall petitions can begin circulating to recall the sheriff. And given the mood of the women in the anti-domestic violence network, I’d say a recall is inevitable.

WHAT’S THAT, A RECALL IS INEVITABLE? WELL, THAT’S WHAT YOU THINK.

ACTUALLY, I’M NOT EVEN SURE THAT A SERIOUS RECALL _ATTEMPT_ IS INEVITABLE.

UH, IS THIS THE KIND OF MATERIAL THAT WAS SUPPOSED TO MAKE PEOPLE HAPPY THEY SHELLED OUT $2 FOR A PHYSICAL CHRONICLE?

OK FINE…

Willie Brown flying over JHP, as free as a bird: