More finger pointing in San Francisco city attorney’s lawsuit

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee has asked port commissioner Mel Murphy
to resign following a lawsuit filed last week by the city attorney over his
business practices and alleged violations of city building codes, but
Murphy’s attorney said today the mayor has made a “rush to judgment.”
Murphy, who has been a San Francisco port commissioner since 2013
and previously served on the city’s building inspection commission, came
under investigation in December 2013 after his vacant Twin Peaks home
collapsed during a massive renovation and expansion.
The lawsuit filed last Wednesday by City Attorney Dennis Herrera
alleges “a far-reaching pattern of unlawful business practices and rampant
violations of building, housing and safety codes” by Murphy at properties he
owns in the city, including developments in the Mission District.
Among the allegations is that Murphy failed to disclose ownership
of a property, as required in his position with the city, and that he
converted a two-unit property into a four-unit property and performed
building, plumbing and electrical work without inspections or approvals.
Murphy’s wife, Nuannoi Murphy, who shares ownership of the
properties, was also named as a defendant in the lawsuit.
Mayor Lee on Thursday, the day after the lawsuit was filed, sent a
letter to Murphy formally asking him to resign from the port commission.
However, Murphy’s attorney Andrew Zacks said his client is still
“reviewing the allegations made by the city attorney against him and will
respond to the mayor’s request in due course.”
Zacks said removal from city office, including the port
commission, requires proof of misconduct and that Murphy “is entitled to due
process and all presumptions in his favor.”
He said, “The mayor’s office has not responded to my phone calls
regarding the basis for his demand for resignation and appears to seek a rush
to judgment against Commissioner Murphy based on unproven allegations.”
Murphy’s term as port commissioner ends on May 1, 2016. The next
meeting of the commission is scheduled for April 14.

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