Oh, what a tangled web we weave!
Was Herrera's “Investigation Probe” a cover up?
“The Ethics Commission was established by San Francisco voters with the passage of Proposition K on the November 1993 ballot. Ethics was designed to serve the public, City employees and officials, and local candidates through education and enforcement of governmental ethics laws, including public information. The Commission has virtually stopped serving citizens and now protects City politicians while collecting penalties and fines." …George Wooding
If Donald Trump used the power of public office to bully a powerful city commission stacked with his appointees in a strategic effort to unseat an elected law enforcement official actively investigating political allies, former lovers and…himself. we would call for his impeachment. But in a city described as a “dysfunctional government - or functional cartel” we call it San Francisco Values!
PoliticoMD believes Mayor London Breed’s appointment of City Attorney Dennis Herrera to lead the scandal and corruption-ridden PUC is an impeachable act designed to vacate an office that issued 14 subpoenas in a sting by U.S Attorney David Anderson’s in a 75-page federal complaint detailing the “tangled web” of corruption that ensnared Breed, her former paramour Mohammed Nuru and billionaire permit expeditor Walter Wong.
“Corruption is pouring into San Francisco from around the world.” U.S. Attorney David Anderson at the January 28, 2020 Joint U.S. Attorney-FBI press conference announcing the federal complaint and arrest of Mohammed Nuru on public corruption charges.
According to investigative journalism conducted by Joe Rodriguez, Wong was accused of “flying Nuru to hotels and spas internationally to gain his help in pushing through a mixed-use development at 555 Fulton Street.”
On February 27, 2020, City Attorney Dennis Herrera issued 14 subpoenas targeting principles tied to 555 Fulton Street luxury condominiums and retail, referred to by the U.S. Department of Justice as the “Multimillion-Dollar Mixed-Use Development Scheme”. The Hayes Valley development project was plagued by delays that kept it in in limbo for years until London Breed’s election as D5 Supervisor in 2012. Formerly an industrial site, the San Francisco Chronicle reported as many as thirty buyers walked out on the project caused by changes in design in the midst of construction.
According to the San Francisco Progressive Media Center, as early as 2013, project contractor Walter Wong and District 5 Supervisor London Breed became embroiled in a debate over whether the cities formula retail ban could be modified to allow an affordable grocery store at the site. Breed expressed support for breaking the formula retail ban to allow for a chain grocery store on the ground floor of the 555 Fulton development project to make it more affordable for residents in three low-income housing projects nearby, a move that triggered fierce opposition from the Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association.
Wong, best known as a “permit expeditor” expert at pushing development projects through the maze of the Department of Building Inspection permit process, reached a $1.7 million settlement with the City in May of 2021 after pleading guilty to federal charges of fraud and money laundering. Wong held enormous influence over DBI’s plan check and central permitting divisions.
The Elephant in the Room at 555 Fulton Street
London Breed’s name could be posted like a banner marquee atop the 555 Fulton Street luxury condos located less than a mile from Plaza East public housing where she spent her childhood and two blocks east of the African American Art & Cultural Center at 762 Fulton Street, where she served as executive director for over a decade. Standing at the 555 Fulton Street intersection one need only turn east to see the dome of San Francisco City Hall where Breed, as D5 Supervisor, shepherded the 555 Fulton Street development immediately upon her election to the board in 2012.
In the early 2000’s the old Christopher Dairy at 555 Fulton was identified as a location for a supermarket and mixed-use development. In 2012 the site was sold to a new developer, Fulton Street Ventures (FSV). That same year London Breed was elected District 5 Supervisor. In January 2013 FSV informed the Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association they were seeking a “legislative amendment” that would exclude the project from the Hayes Valley formula retail ban. The HVNA Board of Directors unanimously opposed the amendment. D5 Supervisor Breed addressed the general meeting of the HVNA in July of 2013, stating that she did not plan to intervene to force the developer to consider the alternatives HVNA suggested. On January 14, 2014, the Board of Supervisors voted to approve D5 Supervisor London Breed’s legislation allowing a large grocery story to be built on 555 Fulton’s ground floor.
Fulton Street Ventures is the U.S. arm of China’s 10th largest developer - R&F properties. According to a 2014 report FSV affiliate R&F Properties holds $27.1 billion in assets.
“The fact that the mayor will be appointing someone to head the office that is investigating her administration raises obvious concerns.”
Dean Preston, District 5 Supervisor.
Breed has been identified as a potential target of the City Attorney’s investigation, and in a letter written by D5 Supervisor Dean Preston to City Attorney Dennis Herrera, Preston asks what plan is in place to protect the integrity of any pending public integrity investigation of the Administration when and if the Mayor appoints a successor City Attorney.
In San Francisco Ethics Commission https://sfethics.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/2021.08.13-Agenda-Item-9-Proposed-Stipulation-in-the-Matter-of-London-Breed.pdf - Proposed stipulation, decision and order in the matter of London Breed, the San Francisco City Charter Section 15.03 is invoked in declaring public office… “a public trust and all officers and employees of the city and county shall exercise their public duties in a manner consistent with this trust.”
In the Mission Local article, Mayor London Breed’s $23K ethics fine is ratified and everyone comes out looking bad, Joe Eskenazi reports, “Ethics Commission staff refused to answer key questions, even to commissioners: Was the mayor interviewed? Did it obtain key receipts for Nuru gifts? What was the true source of illegal donations?”
George Wooding's Prediction
As if peering into a crystal ball, George Wooding predicted in February 2020 “the Ethics Department’s byzantine rules, rule-parsing and snail-like pace, dictate a decision on Breed’s unethical behavior in about three years.”
PoliticoMD urges San Francisco Ethics Commission Director of Enforcement Jeff Pierce to keep the cash register on and running because the best is yet to come for Mayor London Breed.
Ahimsa Sumchai Porter, MD, West Portal, Medical Director Golden State MD Health & Wellness is a longtime neighborhood and environmental activist