Paper Trails

Frank'$ Twin Peak$ Suite
Mayor Frank Jordan finally got around to filing a "complete" Economic Disclosure Statement last week. When Jordan first filed his statement April 4, he was a day late -- filing it on the wrong form at the wrong office -- and a few dollars short.

Now that he's in compliance with the law we learn that he accepted an $800 gift of "lodging" from Dr. Alisa Gean, a physician who specializes in head trauma. According to his filing, Jordan and his wife, Wendy Paskin, occupied a suite in Gean's Twin Peaks home for five months in 1994. The suite -- which Jordan's office confirms has a city vu -- was valued at $320 a month in the filing and the mayor paid half that each month of his stay.

Frank and Wendy's short-term residence at Dr. Gean's suggests the solution to the city's homeless problem. Were San Francisco's First Couple forced into the city's mandatory homeless hotel system, their monthly rent would have been $280 -- just 40 bucks less than the doctor charged them. If a sufficient number of Twin Peaks citizens could be persuaded to house indigents at half rent, the homeless could live in style and save the city a bundle.

Cheap rent was the best gift news in the Jordan filing -- Santa must have missed Hizzoner and Herroner's home on Christmas Eve. Most San Francisco mayors, including Jordan in the past, have reported gifts of chocolates, flowers and sundries each holiday season -- the political lubricant advanced by their friends and foes to ease the stickiness the rest the year. One of the only Christmas presents Jordan reported was $50 in gifts from the San Francisco Examiner, where press secretary Noah Griffin's wife, Cindy Myers, is in charge of handing out promotional booty. A cronyism clue: No supe reported getting the gift grab bag.

Of course, these dismal Yule tidings are applicable only if you believe that Jordan filed a complete and honest report.

Hitting the gift jackpot with a reported value of $2,414.49 was Jordan's chief of staff, Jim Wunderman, who reported more presents than all 11 supervisors combined. Wunderman was freebied into an Allman Brothers Band concert, got free tickets to see Tommy, the Rolling Stones and Barbra Streisand (at $600 a pair) and also reported $1,000 in free accommodations and meals for a trip last year to Hong Kong.

The supes -- how soon they forget the little favors done them. And how much trouble they seem to have figuring out how much things are worth.

City law requires lobbyists to report every three months all gifts given to public officials. Like a human clockwork, each holiday season lobbyist Marcia Smollens gives a gift basket worth $50 to each of the supes and reports it. Sue Bierman and Susan Leal were the only supervisors to acknowledge receiving Smollen's gift; seven others gobbled the goodies and promptly forgot. (Two supervisors -- Ammiano and Teng -- weren't yet installed and didn't get the gift).

The San Francisco Giants gave each supe Opening Day tickets, a meal, free parking and a video of Ken Burns' baseball program (the filing reveals that each video was purchased at the Price Club for $89.99). Two supes failed to report the gift; Shelley pegged its value at $120 (don't send him out to do the shopping!), while Alioto, often caricatured as the Lucy Ricardo of the board, judged its value accurately at $89.99. Jordan got the video, too, and declared it was worth $120.

The honest graft of gift-giving was curtailed January 1, when a new state law took effect allowing public officials to accept gifts worth no more than $280. Previously, local elected officials could accept gifts worth up to $1,000, while appointees like department heads and commissioners could accept anything they could get.

In 1994, the Port Commission and its top staff excelled at accepting big gifts. According to city filings, four of five commissioners and a half dozen top staffers received memberships in the World Trade Club restaurant, valued at $2,000 each. The World Trade Club is located in the Port's Ferry Building; its lease rates are set by the Port Commission and staff.

Thanks to the financial disclosure law, which also requires that public officials divulge all outside sources of income, we learn that the head of the city's troubled Juvenile Hall, Ed Flowers, does some interesting moonlighting.

The former deputy sheriff and U.S. Marine won his job with a tough-guy-gets-tough attitude toward repeat juvenile offenders. In his spare time, Flowers reports that he earns spare change leading "Dream Interpretation Workshops" with his wife.

About Face
After City Attorney Louise Renne endorsed Willie Brown for mayor and criticized Jordan's political "skills," Jordan struck back April 13, accusing her of bias against him and his administration.

But was there an ulterior motive behind Jordan's outburst? Was he souring the legal climate just when Renne is negotiating a case against a group that was headed by a key Jordan financial backer?

Last October, the influential Hoy-Sun Ning Yung Association agreed to settle a state Fair Political Practices Commission probe of its contributions in several San Francisco elections, paying $42,800 in fines for 28 violations of state campaign-finance laws. Some of the violations involved contributions above $500 -- which is the contribution limit in S.F. races. Thus the state settlement automatically suggested that violations of city law also occurred.

Next Page »
My Voice Nation Help
Sort: Newest | Oldest
©2014 SF Weekly, LP, All rights reserved.