Late last month, photos hit the internet of Mayor Ed Lee's Chevy Volt parked in a bus zone while the mayor chowed down on the best Mexican food Glen Park has to offer. While this was good publicity for La Corneta Taqueria, it didn't reflect so well on the mayor.
The cop who chauffeurs hizzoner was purportedly admonished by the department, and the mayor's spokeswoman said Lee "expected that the vehicle would have been parked in a legal parking space. ... The mayor believes this is unacceptable and steps have been taken to make sure it doesn't happen again."
And yet, just days later, an Outer Sunset Twitter user documented the mayor's hybrid parked just about everywhere but a legal space: in the middle of the street, in the red zone, and even in a crosswalk.
Lee's expectations that his car will always be stowed properly appear to be on the hopeful side. Municipal Transportation Agency records reveal his Volt has been ticketed six times since his ascension to mayor in 2011 (and, it's worth mentioning, his most recent escapades were not ticketed at all). Five of these six tickets hail from street-cleaning violations; the sixth is an $85 smacker for depositing the Volt in a "TOWAWAY ZONE — DOWNT."
A mere mortal would have shelled out $367 for these infractions — plus God knows how much cash and sanity getting a car back out of hock. The mayor paid nothing. All six tickets were dismissed out of hand at the behest of the San Francisco Police Department.
Lt. Daryl Fong, the head of the department's special investigations unit, confirms that the mayor's tickets "were obtained during the course of his duties," and, thereby, nixed. What, exactly, constitutes the course of Lee's duties was a subject Fong declined to parse. He also declined to go into specifics on these six tickets, as to do so would "compromise the mayor's security."
So we may never know what the mayor was up to when he was ticketed outside the Rexall Drugs on Irving and Ninth; between Stacks Restaurant and Patxi's Pizza at Hayes and Octavia; outside Glen Park Cleaners on Chenery and Diamond; outside the Museum of the African Diaspora at 685 Mission St.; and outside Bello Coffee & Tea — twice — right across the street from La Corneta.
Steps have been taken to make sure it doesn't happen again. And again. And again.