Mayor Breed to pay fines for ethics violations / Hunger strike for drug-use sites ends

It's Tuesday, August 3rd.

Hey there, San Francisco. 

Another day, another national publication writing about San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin. This time it was New York Magazine

There’s a lot in there about Boudin’s backstory and the current climate he finds himself in here in San Francisco. So if you need a refresher, it’s worth a read. 

Something I did not know (and I guess, not particularly relevant to the debate about our DA, but interesting) is that Boudin lives near Ocean Beach and surfs “many days a week before dawn.” TIL. 

Perhaps more worth your time is C.W. Nevius’ column on Tuesday, which was written in response to the New Yorker’s piece on Boudin last week. In it, Nevius provides good context on why some of the backlash against Boudin shouldn’t come as a surprise. Hint: San Francisco residents may not be so liberal when it comes to “order on the streets,” Nevius writes. 

He also points to Boudin’s response to concerns on crime: 

“There are the videos, which not only show criminals in action, they look like they don’t have a care in the world. It’s infuriating. 

To which law enforcement, including Boudin, have been responding with stats that show crime isn’t as bad as you think. Basically, it is the old “who are you going to believe, these numbers or your lying eyes?” 

It isn’t a winning strategy. And when concerned residents look for a scapegoat, it is easy to point at the guy who said in his victory speech, “It’s time for a radical change in how we envision justice.”

And with that...onto some news… 

Mayor London Breed has agreed to personally pay nearly $23,000 in fines for a series of ethics violations dating back to 2015, the Chronicle’s Trisha Thadani reported on Tuesday. 

Thadani writes that “while it’s not unusual for supervisors and candidates to be hit with fines from the Ethics Commission, it appears to be the first time a sitting mayor in San Francisco has settled such a case, records show. It is also one of the commission’s biggest fines in recent history.” 

Breed’s violations included: 1) Asking former California Governor Jerry Brown to release her brother from jail in 2018 after he’d served around 20 years of a 44-year sentence for involuntary manslaughter and armed robbery. 2) Accepting (and not properly disclosing) a $5,600 “gift” in 2019 from Mohammed Nuru, the former Public Works Director at the center of the City Hall corruption scandal, to help her pay for car repairs. 3) Accepting (and not properly disclosing) contributions to help pay for her Pride Parade float in 2015 when she was District 5 Supervisor. 

“Although there are reasonable explanations for all three matters covered by the stipulation, the mayor has taken responsibility for her mistakes and is ready to move on,” Breed’s lawyer, Tom Willis, said in a statement. 

As for Breed, she said on Tuesday: “While nothing stipulated here had any effect on my decision-making as Mayor, it is important that as Mayor that I lead by example and take responsibility for my actions...I have always and will always put this City and its residents first. No one should be afraid of taking accountability when we make mistakes.” 

Quick bits: 

  • 💊 Local Gary McCoy went on a hunger strike outside City Hall this week to advocate for the city to speed up its opening of “safe consumption sites,” which, advocates say, gives people a safer environment to use drugs and reduces overdoses. Currently, the sites are not allowed under state and federal law. 

    By Tuesday, McCoy received support from a majority of the Board of Supervisors to “introduce a resolution urging and supporting Mayor London Breed to declare a state of emergency around the overdose crisis and authorizing safe consumption services,” he said on Twitter. After 60 hours, he will end his hunger strike tonight. (SF Weekly

  • 💰 Warriors’ star Steph Curry has agreed to a four-year $215 million contract extension, making him the first player in NBA history to have signed two $200 million contracts in his career. (Chronicle

  • 🎭 Hamilton will return to the Orpheum theater next Tuesday and proof of “full” vaccination (having received your final dose at least 14 days before the show) is required. (SFist

And finally… 

As Broke Ass-Stuart reported on Monday, the SFMTA recently released a “trove of rad vintage Muni photos” from the 1960s, 70s, and 80s. You can check them out here

“These photos, both color and black and white, give a glimpse into the day-to-day operations of Muni and the streets of San Francisco,” the SFMTA wrote in its announcement of the release. “Altogether, there are over 1,700 photos now online that show Muni and San Francisco during an era of transition for the city and our transit system.”

That’s all for today! Thanks so much for reading y’all. 

A reminder, this Thursday (August 5th) at 7:30 pm, I’ll be on a panel at Manny’s to talk about the state of local news here in San Francisco. I’d love for you to be there! 

You can purchase tickets here. And don’t forget to use the promo code “​​SFMinuteReader50” for 50% off (I’ve always wanted to say that!). 

Have a great night and see you back here tomorrow! - Nick B.

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