Posts Tagged ‘Dennis Jose Herrera’

Jesus Tap-Dancing Christ: More Money Laundering Found in Ed Lee Campaign – Meet CitiApartments’ “Eviction Goon”

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

[UPDATE: Senator Leland Yee is on the case this AM – he’s doing a presser involving this latest allegation. (I guess it’s too late to call this an October Surprise, and frankly, it’s not all that surprising neither. Let’s call it a November Expectation. Brace yourself for more.) Oh, and Leland is onto some Chinatown voting sting operation as well.

And there’s this: “Statement from Chiu Campaign on Money Laundering Allegations – SAN FRANCISCO (November 2, 2011): Addisu Demissie, spokesman for the David Chiu for Mayor campaign, released the following statement about a San Francisco Chronicle report of potential money laundering by supporters of Mayor Ed Lee:

“This is now the fourth allegation of illegal conduct by Mayor Lee’s supporters, and it should be investigated fully by the District Attorney and appropriate authorities,” Demissie said. “With six days to go before Election Day, it will be up to the voters to decide whether this kind of bullying, pay-to-play politics is what they want to see at City Hall for the next 4 years. David is going to spend the last 6 days of this race talking about why he represents a new generation of leadership for San Francisco that will stand tough against the special interests and shake things up at City Hall.

Paid for by David Chiu for Mayor 2011, P.O. Box 641541, San Francisco, CA 94164, FPPC##1337108]

Well, it looks like early-rising City Attorney Dennis Jose Herrera is the first one out of the gates to follow up on today’s piece from San Francisco Chronicle Staff Writers John Coté and Heather Knight.

Testify, DJH:

“Too many of Ed Lee’s supporters act as though they’re above the law — on money laundering, on ballot tampering, and more — and Ed Lee isn’t strong enough to stop it.


Earlier this year, Ed Lee was picked unanimously to be an Interim Mayor. He wasn’t picked to be a Reformer. He’ll never be a Reformer.

In Ed Lee’s world, the notorious Willie Brown Administration deserves an A+, Rose Pak is not a cancer on Chinatown, and corner-cutting PG&E (“KABOOM!“) is simply “a great local corporation” and a “great company that gets it.”

Oh well.

Is Ed Lee Breaking Bad? Has the City Family corrupted him? Or has he corrupted the City Family? A little of both?

Click to expand

All the deets:

“Herrera calls on FPPC to join D.A. in investigating new Ed Lee campaign money laundering charge – CitiApartments’ former eviction goon led reimbursement-for-donation scheme, suggesting political payback for City Attorney’s 2006 tenant-protection lawsuit

SAN FRANCISCO (Nov. 2, 2011) — City Attorney Dennis Herrera this morning called on the state Fair Political Practices Commission to join District Attorney George Gascón in reviewing new allegations reported in today’s San Francisco Chronicle that Ed Lee’s mayoral campaign received donations that appear to have been illegally laundered to skirt San Francisco $500 per donor contribution maximum.[1] Andrew Hawkins, a property services manager whose harrowing tenant intimidation tactics were central to Herrera’s lawsuit five years ago against the Lembi Group landlords’ once high-rolling CitiApartments empire, promised reimbursements to at least sixteen employees in exchange for maximum contributions to Ed Lee’s mayoral campaign at an Oct. 18, 2011 fundraiser, according to the Chronicle.

It is the second major allegation of campaign money laundering to benefit Ed Lee’s campaign. The first, involving GO Lorrie’s airport shuttle, is the subject of separate investigations by Gascón’s office and the FPPC, the state commission responsible to investigate and impose penalties for violations of the California Political Reform Act. Such schemes have been prosecuted as felonies in California for conspiring to evade campaign contribution limits, and for making campaign contributions under false names.

I think San Franciscans have now seen enough,” said City Attorney Dennis Herrera. “Too many of Ed Lee’s supporters act as though they’re above the law — on money laundering, on ballot tampering, and more — and Ed Lee isn’t strong enough to stop it. If this is how they behave before an election, just imagine how they’ll behave after the election, if Ed Lee wins. This scheme is clearly a bid for political payback by CitiApartments henchmen for my litigation to protect tenants five years ago. It is patently illegal, and I call on the FPPC to join the District Attorney in investigating.”

Hawkins is listed in Ed Lee’s campaign disclosures as the owner of Archway Property Services. As the one-time head of CitiApartments’ “tenant relocation program,” the gun-carrying Hawkins is reported to have coerced more than 2,500 tenants out of their rent-controlled units, and once boasted in civil court testimony, “I run people out of their apartments for a living. It’s what I do.

Several recipients of Hawkins’ email invitation to an Oct. 18 event on Russian Hill made contributions to Ed Lee’s campaign on the same date. All contributed the maximum $500.

Herrera sued the CitiApartments residential rental property behemoth in Aug. 2006 for an array of unlawful business and tenant harassment practices, which sought to dispossess long-term residents of their rent-controlled apartments. The coerced vacancies freed the company to make often-unpermitted renovations to units, and then re-rent them to new tenants at dramatically increased market rates. The illegal business model enabled CitiApartments, Skyline Realty and other entities under the sway of real estate family patriarch Frank Lembi to aggressively outbid competitors for residential properties throughout San Francisco for several years — before lawsuits and a sharp economic downturn forced the aspiring empire into bankruptcies, foreclosures and receiverships.

A 2009 San Francisco Magazine feature story on the Lembi real estate empire[2] described Andrew Hawkins as “a burly former nightclub bouncer who headed up CitiApartments’ relocation program.” Hawkins reportedly led teams as large as 14 full-time employees, according to the report, and the company estimated that “Hawkins relocated more than 2,500 tenants.” An earlier exposé in 2006 by the San Francisco Bay Guardian[3] cited civil court testimony in which Hawkins boasted to one tenant’s family member, “I run people out of their apartments for a living. It’s what I do.”

# # #

[1] Source: “Ed Lee donors face money-laundering allegations” by John Coté and Heather Knight, San Francisco Chronicle, Nov. 2, 2011,
[2] Source: “War of values” by Danelle Morton, San Francisco Magazine, Nov. 19, 2009,
[3] Source: “The Scumlords: Part One of a Three-Part Series” by G.W. Schulz, San Francisco Bay Guardian, March 8, 2006,

Former San Francisco Mayor Art Agnos Endorses City Attorney Dennis Herrera in Mayoral Race

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

Is this news? Well, it’s news to me.

Of course, it’s always nice to have a former Mayor’s endorsement, right?

Brent Begin has the deets. (Let me tell you, in this context, and, really every context having anything to do with who becomes an elected official, the term “staffer” is highly pejorative. Highly, highly pejorative. Pretty much it’s calling Ed Lee a mayoral usurper. Oh, and “competent” is thrown in there as well. S’pose that’s better than incompetent, but Jesus Christ. Just saying.)

Here it is:

“I’ve been Mayor of San Francisco and I know that it’s no easy task. I saw our great City through its recovery after the Loma Prieta Earthquake, working hard to create affordable housing, and undertaking major improvements to our City’s infrastructure. 

I know what it takes to do this job. It takes the ability to stand up and fight for what you believe in, independent of special interests. That’s why I believe that Dennis Herrera is the Mayor that San Francisco needs.

As our City Attorney, Dennis has exposed fraud, waste, abuse and corruption in City government, and recovered millions of dollars for San Franciscans.  He will be an independent voice in City Hall and bring integrity and honesty to the Mayor’s office. 

That’s why I’m proud to endorse Dennis Herrera for Mayor and I hope you will join me in supporting his campaign.

Now more than ever, our City needs leadership experience and an honest government. It’s time that we return to a City governed by independence and not by power brokers or special interests.

Dennis has shown that he knows every facet of City government and how it should serve all our neighborhoods. That’s why I’m supporting him for Mayor.

Will you join me in supporting Dennis’ candidacy? 

I look forward to seeing you at his campaign headquarters and on street corners as we work to elect him as our next Mayor. A campaign is only as strong as its supporters and your efforts will be essential to our success.

Thanks for all that you do,

Art Agnos
Former Mayor of San Francisco”

Dennis Herrera Throws Down: Acts to Sue CPUC and Feds Over Failure to Enforce Gas Pipeline Safety Standards

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

City Attorney Dennis Herrera is all over last year’s gas transmission explosion in San Bruno.

All the deets.

The first of a series of photos of the San Bruno aftermath from photographer David Yu

Just released:

Herrera moves to sue CPUC, feds for failing to enforce gas pipeline safety standards

Revelations from San Bruno tragedy lead San Francisco to seek federal court order compelling regulators to strictly enforce U.S. safety standards

SAN FRANCISCO (July 14, 2011) — City Attorney Dennis Herrera has taken the first step toward suing the California Public Utilities Commission and federal regulators for their failure to reasonably enforce federal gas pipeline safety standards as required by the Pipeline Safety Act. The notice of intent to sue Herrera delivered late today is a legally-required precursor to civil litigation by San Francisco, which will seek a federal court order to compel the CPUC and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration to enforce federal pipeline safety standards in an effective manner.

Herrera’s move comes in the wake of increasingly troubling revelations in news accounts and last month’s sharply critical report by an independent review panel investigating the deadly explosion of a PG&E gas transmission line in San Bruno, Calif. on Sept. 9, 2010, which resulted in the loss of eight lives and the destruction of 38 homes. That investigation report concluded that CPUC’s “culture serves as an impediment to effective regulation,” and went on to fault regulators who “did not have the resources to monitor PG&E’s performance in pipeline integrity management adequately or the organizational focus that would have elevated concerns about PG&E’s performance in a meaningful way.” The City Attorney’s Office will file its comments on that investigation report with the CPUC tomorrow.

Continued after the jump


Wow, a Monstrous Turnout This Morning for the Dennis Herrera for Mayor Campaign Kickoff in the Western Addition

Saturday, June 4th, 2011

Well this was part of the crowd what turned out for Dennis Jose Herrera this AM at the African American Art & Culture Complex on Fulton. Hundreds, certainly, were on hand, rivaling the crowds that routinely show up for Senator Leland Yee.

(Do any of the rest of the other candidates bring out people like this? If so, do tell.)

Click to expand

Here are former Supervisor Jake McGoldrick, Chairman of the California Democratic Party Art Torres, and Supervisor Scott Wiener on hand to warm up the crowd:

And here are some quotes from this morning:

And here’s the man of the hour himself, along with Grande Dame of San Francisco Politics Jane Morrison and former Supervisor Jake McGoldrick:

Oh, and look, he’s Sophie’s Choice as well:

To Be Continued…


SFMR11 – The Latest Line: Everybody’s a 4 to 1 Shot – Leland Yee, Dennis Herrera, David Chiu, Ed Lee and The Field

Friday, March 4th, 2011

We’re in a fluid situation here, people. So you don’t want to be perceived as the front-runner too early, right?

That’s what Ranked Choice Voting is all about.

So unless you have some insight about how all the major candidates are going to collude with each other, it’s just not possible for you to know at this point how things are going to turn out. It’s a dynamic sitch, baby.

Place your bets:

Leland Yee – 4:1

Dennis Jose Herrera – 4:1

David Chiu – 4:1

Edwin Lee – 4:1

Everybody Else, the Rest of Christendom – 4:1

That’s right, no women and lots of Asian-Americans.

RCV will result in the first elected Asian American Mayor in San Francisco history, most likely. So there you go.

And oh yes, and you gotta be nice. That’s the other lesson from recent RCV elections:

To be continued…

The Hardest-Working City Worker Has Got To Be City Attorney Dennis Herrera – Up Early, In His Suit, On a Holiday

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

Here’s the scene early this AM on Polk Street in front of City Hall – it’s Dennis Jose Herrera On The Job, despite the fact that it’s a national holiday.

Didn’t see anybody else working this early, anyway.

Dennis Herrera Throws Down: Operators of Troubled Club Suede in Fishermans Wharf Probihited from Reopening

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

I’ll tell you, you can win in criminal court all the live long day, but when the City Attorney of San Francisco wants to shut you down for good reason, like you doing things that are muy pro hi bi da do, that’s it. It’s game over, man, game over.

Now, when I was there at the Club Suede, at various political fundraisers and whatnot, everything was copacetic, but I never experienced it on a weekend night so I don’t know what it was like.

But what I do know is that these operators won’t be operating a nightclub at 383 Bay ever again. Get all the deets, below. 

San Francisco’s Happy Warrior…

…wasn’t too pleased with the owners of the Suede nightclub:

Herrera secures injunction to permanently bar ‘Club Suede’ operators from re-opening a place of entertainment

Agreement includes $20,000 payment to the City by owners of Fisherman’s Wharf nightclub that was the site of fatal shooting in February
SAN FRANCISCO (Oct. 20, 2010)— A San Francisco Superior Court judge has approved a settlement and stipulated injunction negotiated by City Attorney Dennis Herrera that will permanently prohibit the owners and management of Club Suede, the notorious nightclub that was the site of a fatal shooting earlier this year, from operating an entertainment venue at the Fisherman’s Wharf property. 

The injunction approved by Judge Peter J. Busch this morning bars defendants Hanson Wong, Ken Wong, Sunny Auyeung, Jason Gee, Frank Chan, Li Jiang, and Taliesin Entertainment Group, LLC from opening or seeking permits to operate a place of entertainment at 383 Bay Street, or maintaining the property in a manner that constitutes a public nuisance.  The agreement additionally provides that the property must be maintained at all times in compliance with San Francisco Municipal Codes intended to protect the health and safety of tenants and neighbors.

“This agreement protects the safety of nightclub goers and neighbors, and assures fair treatment to the vast majority of law-abiding entertainment venues that comprise one of San Francisco’s most vibrant economic sectors,” said Herrera.  “I’m grateful that the owners and operators of Club Suede recognized our firm resolve in pursuing this case, and agreed to a fair and reasonable settlement to conclude it.”

Club Suede was the site of a fatal shooting in the early hours of Feb. 7, 2010, and its operators have been reported for a pattern of nuisance and unlawful conduct dating as far back as 2007.  Though Club Suede voluntarily closed its doors some months ago, today’s stipulated injunction permanently prevents the operators from reopening a place of entertainment at the violence-plagued establishment.  The venue had been a frequent site of Police Department service calls for violent incidents, including some involving firearms; neighborhood +-vandalism; and crowd control problems, according to the civil complaint Herrera filed in April.  The club’s long established pattern of illegal and unfair business practices additionally includes operating beyond permitted business hours; permitting consumption of alcohol after 2:00 a.m.; inadequately credentialed security personnel; and multiple violations of state and local codes.

The case is: City and County of San Francisco and People of the State of California v. Hanson Wong et al., S.F. Superior Court case no. 498-677, filed Apr. 15, 2010.  A copy of the court order and additional documentation is available on the City Attorney’s Web site at

Dennis Herrera Throws Down: Troubled Club Suede Won’t Be Reopening for a Good Long Time

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

San Francisco City Attorney Dennis J. Herrera has taken steps to make sure that troubled Club Suede won’t be opening again anytime soon.

Get all the deets, below.

San Francisco’s Happy Warrior…

…isn’t too pleased with the owners of this nightclub:

All the deets:

Herrera secures court-ordered closure of ‘Club Suede,’ site of fatal shooting. Superior Court’s order assures that violence-plagued nightclub must remain shuttered for the duration of City Attorney’s legal action
 SAN FRANCISCO (Sept. 28, 2010) — A San Francisco Superior Court judge this morning granted City Attorney Dennis Herrera’s motion for a preliminary injunction to shutter Club Suede, a notorious Fisherman’s Wharf nightclub that was the site of a fatal shooting earlier this year. In issuing the preliminary injunction, Judge Peter J. Busch found that Herrera is likely to prevail on the merits on the causes of action alleged in his complaint filed in April of this year. Hanson Wong and Taliesin Entertainment Group are named as defendants for their operation of the establishment at383 Bay Street. Though Club Suede voluntarily closed its doors some months ago, today’s preliminary injunction will prevent the operators from reopening the violence-plagued establishment for the duration of the lawsuit.
“San Francisco treasures its vibrant night life and the vast majority of entertainment venues that operate responsibly,” said Herrera. “Unfortunately, Club Suede’s refusal to abide by the law has created a dangerous environment for club-goers and neighbors alike. Policing irresponsible establishments like Club Suede is about protecting public safety and assuring fair treatment to the law-abiding entertainment businesses that comprise one of our City’s most important cultural and economic sectors.”
Club Suede was the site of a fatal shooting in the early hours of Feb. 7, 2010, and its operators have been reported for a pattern of nuisance and unlawful conduct dating as far back as 2007. The venue has been a frequent site of service calls by the San Francisco Police Department for violent incidents, including some involving firearms; neighborhood vandalism; and crowd control problems, according to Herrera’s complaint. The club’s long established pattern of illegal and unfair business practices additionally includes operating beyond permitted business hours; permitting consumption of alcohol after 2:00 a.m.; inadequately credentialed security personnel; and multiple violations of state and local police and safety codes. The City and the defendants are currently engaged in settlement discussions.

The case is: City and County of San Francisco and People of the State of California v. Hanson Wong; Taliesin Entertainment Group, LLC et al., San Francisco Superior Court case no. 498-677, filed Apr. 16, 2010. A copy of the court order and additional documentation is available on the City Attorney’s Web site at

Dennis Herrera Throws Down: Say Good-Bye to Suede Nightclub at 383 Bay

Thursday, April 15th, 2010

Our City Attorney Dennis J. Herrera can’t abide scofflaws, as you should probably already know. By the time he picks you out as one of a “few bad apples” and you’re appearing in it’s already too late.

Like this morning, at 383 Bay Street, the site of boarded-up Suede Nightclub and the scene of a host of problems. Check it out, looks as if the entire City, including elements of the Entertainment Commission, wants this Club Suede shut down for far longer than just 30 days.

The scene today at Powell and Bay, with Board of Supervisors President and District 2 Supe David Chiu and members of the Entertainment Commission and the SFPD. We had elected and appointed officials all lined up taking turns to herald the value of a “vibrant” nightlife scene in San Francisco. Then they all ripped on Suede:

Who’ll defend you, Suede? Your mouthpiece, sure, but will he/she be enough?

No. We’re way past the beginning of the end now. We’re at the end of the end.

“City Attorney Dennis Herrera will be joined by Police Chief George Gascón, Board President Supervisor David Chiu, Entertainment Commissioners Terrance Allan and Audrey Joseph at a press conference this morning, Thursday, April 15, for an announcement relating to today’s filing of a complaint against the owner and operator of Club Suede.
Club Suede is a notorious public nuisance in the Fisherman’s Wharf area where the club’s unruly crowds, fights, shootings, and stabbings have plagued the business community and surrounding neighborhood.  The club’s egregious pattern of disorderly conduct eventually led to the violence that culminated in this past February’s fatal shooting.
Press conference on City Attorney Dennis Herrera’s litigation against the owner and operator of Club Suede

City Attorney Dennis Herrera
Police Chief George Gascón
Board President Supervisor David Chiu
Entertainment Commissioner Terrance Allan 
Entertainment Commissioner Audrey Joseph
Other community representatives, industry leaders

This morning. Thursday, April 15, 2010 at 10:30 a.m.
In front of Club Suede
383 Bay Street at Mason Street
San Francisco, CA”

Dennis Herrera Stops the Violence – Pink Diamonds Nightclub Closed for One Year

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

News of the morning: The infamous Pink Diamonds Gentlemens Club in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District will close for one year, per the motion filed by San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Jose Herrera.

Hurray! Read all about it, below.

And with the Power Exchange on Mason slowly coming back online (despite the best efforts of the East Bay Homeowning, Carpetbagging, Aging White Male Patriarchy composed of CS Nevius and Randy Shaw) the ‘Loin looks to be on the upswing.

As seen on Jones Street:

pd copy

Herrera Wins Court Order Closing Violence-Plagued ‘Pink Diamonds’ Club

Site of June slaying to be shuttered for one year, with operators ordered to pay $688,500 in civil penalties plus costs

A San Francisco Superior Court this morning ordered the year-long closure of the Pink Diamonds nightclub, where a defiant pattern of lawlessness in the months following a stipulated injunction from earlier this year culminated in a brutal slaying on June 27, 2009.  The order by Judge Peter J. Busch comes in response to City Attorney Dennis Herrera’s motion last month to shutter the notorious adult entertainment venue at 220 Jones Street, which required more than 230 service calls by the San Francisco Police Department in the previous six months alone, according to the City’s petition. 

Illegality detailed from Herrera’s investigation and in accompanying police declarations included illicit drug sales, prostitution, extended hours permit violations, illegal alcohol consumption, noise nuisance violations, and repeated episodes of violence and disturbances of the peace in the surrounding neighborhood, which includes nearby senior housing. 

More deets, after the jump