Posts Tagged ‘violations’

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.”

The SFPD Traffic Violation Crackdown Comes to the Western Addition – Lying in Wait at Fell and Masonic

Friday, April 25th, 2014

The crackdown has come to Fell and Masonic

This SFPD officer from Park Station had to wait about three minutes before seeing an illegal left on northbound Masonic to westbound Fell. The VW was busted with a quickness.

You have no idea how much pressure is coming down to write traffic citations.”

Wow, the Uptown Tenderloin Housing Clinic’s Randy Shaw is Hopping Mad at the SF Chronicle – Let’s Take a Look

Friday, January 10th, 2014

All right, here we go:, with excerpts:

“Chronicle Gets No Stars for Falsehoods About All Star Hotel
by Randy Shaw‚ Jan. 10‚ 2014

The heart of the story—-and title of the sfgate.com version, “Slanted Floors Hotel”—blamed THC for hotel’s floors “slanted so badly that people were falling down. “ But the article does not reveal that the All Star has never been cited by the city for “slanted floors.”

ALL RIGHT, BUT JUST BECAUSE THE ALL-STAR HAS NEVER BEEN CITED BY THE CITY, DOES THAT MEAN THAT THE ALL-STAR DOESN’T HAVE SLANTED FLOORS? THE QUESTION IS WHETHER THE FLOORS ARE SLANTED. SO, ARE THEY IRL? ALSO, WHO ARE YOU, RANDY SHAW, TO DETERMINE WHAT THE “HEART OF THE STORY” IS? _I_ DON’T THINK IT’S THE HEART OF THE STORY. AND I THINK THAT STATEMENT WAS ID’ED AS A STATEMENT IN THE RECORDS OF SFGOV. WELL, IS IT REALLY A STATEMENT IN THE RECORDS OF SFGOV?  THAT’S WHAT YOUR DEFAMATION ATTORNEY (HEH!) WILL ASK ABOUT, RANDY SHAW

“San Francisco has many buildings with outstanding code violations impacting tenants lives, but the only news hook for writing about the All Star— which does not have such violations—was to attack a nonprofit operator.”

NOW WHAT KIND OF NONPROFIT OPERATOR IS THE TENDERLOIN HOUSING CLINIC – A GOOD ONE? I DON’T THINK SO. HERE’S SOME BACKGROUND, FROM A LONG TIME AGO: Randy Shaw’s Power Plays.

“I’ve seen a lot of bad reporting in my time, but the Chronicle’s attack on the THC (publisher of Beyond Chron) is among the worst.”

 IS THIS HOW YOU ARGUE, RANDY SHAW?

“A reporter with no concern with facts, and a city editor unwilling to promptly correct admitted falsehoods, resulted in a prominent article defaming the hard working janitors, desk clerks, maintenance workers, case managers and management staff at the All Star Hotel.”

WELL, THAT’S LIKE YOUR CONCLUSION, MAN. TAKE IT TO COURT RANDY! BUT YOU’LL LOSE.

“The Chronicle’s core problem was that there are no outstanding code violations impacting tenants at the All Star Hotel.”

RANDY, I THINK _YOUR_ THE ONE WITH _THE PROBLEM_, RIGHT? AND ARE YOU SAYING THAT THE HOTEL IN QUESTION DOESN’T HAVE ANY CODE VIOLATIONS ANY MORE? WHY DON’T WE SEND AN INSPECTION TEAM TO LOOK FOR SOME? OH, WHAT’S THAT, RANDY SHAW SAYS THAT ALL THAT MATTERS ARE CODE VIOLATIONS CURRENTLY “IMPACTING” TENANTS? WHO MAKES THAT CALL? IS IT YOU, RANDY SHAW? HOW DOES THAT WORK?

“Chronicle reporters all have my email address and most my cell phone number yet this reporter failed to contact the person at THC who deals with media inquiries.”

RANDY, HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT _ALL_ REPORTERS AT THE CHRONICLE HAVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS? THE REPORTER CONTACTED YOUR ORG AND HE DIDN’T GET A RESPONSE, RIGHT? WELL, THAT’S WE HE WROTE, RIGHT?

“Nothing in the story refutes the statement by THC’s manager that all violations were addressed.”

THE HEART OF THE STORY IS ABOUT _PAST_ VIOLATIONS THOUGH, RIGHT? AND HOW LONG DID THAT PROCESS TAKE?

But then the Chronicle allows Eldon Brown, who has no technical expertise and has likely filed more DBI complaints than all of THC’s over 1700 tenants combined (32 alone in 2012-13), to raise fears of tenant safety by making baseless claims about an unstable building.

DOES ONE NEED TO HAVE “TECHNICAL EXPERTISE” TO FILE A COMPLAINT WITH DBI? THAT DOESN’T SOUND RIGHT. AND THE QUESTION IS WHETHER THE BUILDING IS UNSTABLE. WELL, IS IT? AND YOU ONLY HAVE 1700 TENANTS? AREN’T YOU THE LARGEST NONPROFIT IN SF? MAYBE WE SHOULD JUST STOP GIVING YOU MONEY, HUH RANDY SHAW?

“THC is reviewing its legal options.”

YOU’RE NOT GOING TO SUE ANYBODY, YOU BIG BLOWHARD.

HEY, RANDY SHAW. WHY DON’T YOU DO A BETTER JOB WITH THE MONEY WE GIVE YOUR ORG – HOW ABOUT THAT?

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.”

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.

Amen.

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?

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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.”

# # #

SOURCES:
[1] Source: “Ed Lee donors face money-laundering allegations” by John Coté and Heather Knight, San Francisco Chronicle, Nov. 2, 2011, http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/11/02/MNKJ1LOMB7.DTL
[2] Source: “War of values” by Danelle Morton, San Francisco Magazine, Nov. 19, 2009, http://www.modernluxury.com/san-francisco/story/war-of-values
[3] Source: “The Scumlords: Part One of a Three-Part Series” by G.W. Schulz, San Francisco Bay Guardian, March 8, 2006, http://www.sfbg.com/40/23/news_skyline.html

Update from the Leland Yee Campaign: “Latest Ed Lee Voter Fraud Just the Tip of the Iceberg”

Sunday, October 23rd, 2011

Here’s a look at some background and then find a fresh release below.

Ed Lee backers said to fill in ballots for others

More Fraud Accusations for Lee Supporters

The Ed Lee Story: An Expected Ballot Tampering

“Latest Ed Lee Voter Fraud Just the Tip of the Iceberg - Volunteers witness many instances of potential voter fraud and election violations by Ed Lee campaign

SAN FRANCISCO – Volunteers for Leland Yee’s campaign for mayor are hearing about and witnessing many instances of potential voter fraud and election violations conducted by Ed Lee’s campaign. Over the past several days, Yee’s volunteers have witnessed or heard from voters about at least six different incidents of voter fraud or intimidation.

“I am deeply concerned that the voting rights of individuals are being abused, seniors in subsidized housing are being taken advantage of, and laws that are meant to protect the integrity of the voting process are being ignored and circumvented,” said Yee.

Yesterday, the Bay Citizen and the San Francisco Chronicle reported on workers of an independent expenditure campaign for Ed Lee filling out ballots for voters and in some cases using a stencil which only allowed voters to cast their vote for Lee and no other candidate. The Ed Lee workers also collected dozens of vote-by-mail ballots from voters at the make-shift station.

“What we are hearing from the field is deeply concerning, not just for our campaign but for the integrity of this election and our democracy,” said Jim Stearns, Yee’s campaign manager. “We are encouraging individuals to report potential violations to the Department of Elections; unfortunately, our volunteers are witnessing that many voters are reluctant to speak out, because they are afraid of potential retaliation such as losing their housing.”

These incidents appear to be just the tip of the iceberg as Yee’s campaign volunteers and workers have also witnessed the following voter and election fraud:

At a number of Chinatown Community Development Center (CCDC) run housing complexes, residents told Yee workers that they turned their ballots over to their apartment managers. Volunteer Tommy Lin said, “Many residents told me they didn’t even know who they voted for, because their ballots were turned over before they were filled out.”

According to Yee worker Andy Li, at the federally-funded Senior Housing Complex on 441 Ellis St, residents were invited to the common room for help on how to fill out their absentee ballots, but were first treated to a projector video of commercials and videos of Ed Lee. Residents then were “assisted” by Ed Lee volunteers in filling out their absentee ballots.

In clear violation of election law, Bayview volunteers told Yee’s Field Director Anthony Thomas that they were paid $150 cash to walk precincts and do other voter contact in the neighborhood.

In a number of Filipino housing complexes, absentee ballots still have not arrived at residents’ homes, raising concerns that they may have been removed by apartment management. Yee is widely considered to be heavily favored in the Filipino American community.

A number of Ed Lee volunteers have attested that they were assigned to work on both Ed Lee’s official mayoral campaign as well as his various independent expenditure campaigns, raising serious issues of illegal coordination between the campaigns.

“It is imperative that the Elections Office, Ethics Commission, Secretary of State, District Attorney, Attorney General, and the US Attorney immediately investigate these various illegalities,” said Stearns. “Ed Lee and his comrades are already under investigation by the DA and US Attorney; it is now time for him to come clean for the good of San Francisco.”

Leland Yee is endorsed by the United Educators of San Francisco, California Nurses Association, Sierra Club, San Francisco Firefighters, AFSCME, SEIU, San Francisco Labor Council, and the San Francisco Building and Construction Trades Council. Yee immigrated to San Francisco at the age of 3. His father, a veteran, served in the US Army and the Merchant Marine, and his mother was a local seamstress. Yee graduated from the University of California – Berkeley, then earned a Ph.D. in Child Psychology, and later served in various mental health and school settings. He and his wife, Maxine, have raised four children who all attended San Francisco public schools. Yee has served in the State Legislature, Board of Supervisors and Board of Education.”

Potrero Hill’s Potrero Power Plant To Go Offline in Early 2011?

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010

Rebecca Bowe has the story of the coming end of San Francisco’s 362 MW Potrero Power Plant early next year.

Perhaps we should rename the PPP’s iconic red tower “Coit Tower South” and charge tourists admission to take rides to the top?

It’s a landmark now, right?

Click to expand

Cutout, 2 levels:

Cutout, 3 levels:

Cutout, 4 levels:

Cutout, 5 levels:

Cutout, 6 levels:

Cutout, 6 levels, version 2:

Cutout, 7 levels:

The 850 Geary Building – Dennis Herrera vs. Tenderloin Landlords Patricia D. and James P. Quinn

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

Our three-term San Francisco City Attorney, Dennis J. Herrera, can’t abide landlords who exhibit “an egregious pattern of housing, building, health and safety code violations.” As proof of that, let’s take a look at today’s news regarding the owners of the building at 850 Geary in the Tenderloin / Trenderloin / TenderNob / Lower Nob Hill / Theatre District:

City Attorney Dennis Herrera has filed suit against the property owners of 850 Geary Street, an apartment building whose tenants have been forced to endure an egregious pattern of housing, building, health and safety code violations for nearly five years. According to the complaint filed in San Francisco Superior Court, more than a dozen Notices of Violation and Orders of Abatement have been filed against the building owners by the San Francisco Building Inspection and Health Departments since 2005 — and all have gone virtually unheeded.

Said Herrera: “These landlords have been given every opportunity to address their code violations, but have instead chosen to flout the law, to ignore city enforcement agencies, and to allow substandard housing conditions to persist. Their continued defiance has left the City with no choice but to seek a court order to force the owners to fix the problems, to protect tenants and neighbors.”

 The City Attorney’s complaint details numerous housing code violations that establish the property as public nuisance, including:

1) lack of certification for boiler room repairs;

2) unmaintained fire escapes;

3) severe cockroach infestation;

4) lack of hot water;

5) unilluminated exit passage ways;

6) lacking heat;

7) a malfunctioning passenger elevator;

8) water intrusion damage in several apartments;

9) a broken window frame;

10) a damaged main entry door;

11) leaking radiator

12) a fire damaged electrical outlet in one of the unit’s bedrooms. 

 Health Department inspectors additionally issued Notice of Violations for bed bugs, cockroaches, and mice.

 

SAN FRANCISCO (Jan. 21, 2010) — City Attorney Dennis Herrera today filed suit against the property owners of 850 Geary Street, an apartment building whose tenants have been forced to endure an egregious pattern of housing, building, health and safety code violations for nearly five years.  According to the complaint filed in San Francisco Superior Court this morning, more than a dozen Notices of Violation and Orders of Abatement have been filed against the building owners by the San Francisco Building Inspection and Health Departments since 2005 — and all have gone virtually unheeded.

“The owners of 850 Geary Street are engaged in unlawful business practices that threaten the health and safety of their tenants and their surrounding neighbors,” said Herrera.  “These landlords have been given every opportunity to address their code violations, but have instead chosen to flout the law, to ignore city enforcement agencies, and to allow substandard housing conditions to persist.  Their continued defiance has left the City with no choice but to seek a court order to force the owners to fix the problems, to protect tenants and neighbors.”

Named as defendant in Herrera’s lawsuit are James P. Quinn and Patricia D. Quinn, who also the own and manage the building.  The City Attorney’s complaint details numerous housing code violations that establish the property as public nuisance, including: 1) lack of certification for boiler room repairs; 2) unmaintained fire escapes; 3) severe cockroach infestation; 4) lack of hot water; 5) unilluminated exit passage ways; 6) lacking heat; 7) a malfunctioning passenger elevator; 8) water intrusion damage in several apartments; 9) a broken window frame; 10) a damaged main entry door; 11) leaking radiator 12) a fire damaged electrical outlet in one of the unit’s bedrooms.  Health Department inspectors additionally issued Notice of Violations for bed bugs, cockroaches, and mice.
The case is City and County of San Francisco and the People of California v.  James P.  Quinn, Patricia D.  Quinn et al., San Francisco Superior Court, Filed Jan. 20, 2010.  A copy of the complaint is available for download as a PDF on the City Attorney’s Web site at http://www.sfcityattorney.org/ .

Mirant’s Potrero Generating Plant is Always With Us – When Will It Go Away?

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

See the tower of the Potrero Generating Plant down Seventh Street on a recent rainy day?

Will it be here a year from now?

Who knows. But, on it goes, day in and day out:

IMG_1023

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City Attorney Dennis Herrera Sues for Seismic Safety Upgrades at Mirant

Monday, April 27th, 2009

San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera today sued Mirant Corporation for potentially life-threatening building code violations at the Potrero Generating Plant. Says Mr. Herrera:

“To the list of corporate lawlessness that includes polluting our air, ground and water, we can now add Mirant’s defiant refusal to address safety risks to its own employees.”

Read all about it, below.

Herrera blasts Mirant’s ‘deplorable corporate citizenship’ with seismic safety lawsuit

Code violations at controversial Potrero plant mark the latest in list of threats to public health, safety and the environment

City Attorney Dennis Herrera today filed suit against Mirant (NYSE: MIR) for potentially life-threatening building code violations at its controversial Potrero power plant, blistering the Atlanta-based energy giant’s “deplorable corporate citizenship” for long disregarding human health and safety in San Francisco.  The 17-page complaint filed in San Francisco Superior Court charges the company with persistent violations of a City ordinance that requires seismic safety upgrades to unreinforced masonry buildings, whose structural failures in major earthquakes can cause significant loss of life and injuries.  The aging diesel-fueled plant has been a flashpoint for neighborhood and environmental justice advocates for decades because of the facility’s longstanding air, ground and water contamination problems, and their suspected link to atypically high rates of asthma and cancer in neighboring communities.  Today’s lawsuit comes after years of failed negotiations between Mirant and City leaders to address environmental, public health and safety issues — including seismic retrofits — and a series of letters over the past few months from Herrera and other City officials threatening to challenge the extension of Mirant’s water permit for the plant because it continues to pollute San Francisco Bay.

“To the list of corporate lawlessness that includes polluting our air, ground and water, we can now add Mirant’s defiant refusal to address safety risks to its own employees,” said Herrera.  “City leaders have worked for years to shutter this filthy and dangerous facility — which has no business operating in the 21st Century, let alone in a major population center.  But it increasingly appears that our good faith efforts to work with Mirant have been exploited and mocked.  The imperatives of public health and safety in San  Francisco prevent us from continuing to tolerate this deplorable corporate citizenship.  I intend to pursue a court order to force Mirant to live up to responsibilities it has too long ignored.  Mirant is at the end of its rope.”

Unreinforced masonry buildings, or UMBs, are masonry or concrete buildings constructed without the benefit of reinforcements.  UMBs can be gravely hazardous in earthquakes, with a strong likelihood of failure in serious seismic events, including collapsing walls or the “pancaking” of entire buildings.  In 1992, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors adopted the UMB Ordinance to require: (1) all owners of UMBs to be notified of potential hazards; (2) all owners to retain a licensed civil, structural engineer or architect to identify the hazard class of UMB buildings; and (3) all owners to seismically upgrade the buildings within specified requirements and time frames. 

While the ordinance established Feb. 15, 2006 as the deadline for most building owners to complete structural seismic alterations, the City, like other regulatory agencies, extended numerous accommodations to Mirant in the expectation that the closure of its environmentally injurious power plant was imminent.  Today’s civil action details the history of the City’s enforcement efforts at the Potrero facility, and alleges that Mirant is operating a public nuisance in violation of the California Civil Code (Sections 3479 and 3480) and San Francisco Building Code (Sections 102 and 103).  Herrera’s lawsuit additionally charges Mirant with unlawful and unfair business practices, in violation of California Business and Professions Code Section 17200. 

If successful, Herrera’s case on behalf of the City and People of the State of California could result in sweeping injunctive relief, disgorgement of all profits derived from the company’s unlawful conduct, civil penalties, and costs and fees associated with the action. 

The case is: City and County of San Francisco and People of the State of California v. Mirant Potrero, LLC, San Francisco Superior Court, filed April 27, 2009.