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Newsom blames Daly
for thwarting March Police Academy class

Peskin scores Newsom for 'shameless politics'

Mayor Gavin Newsom
Photos by Luke Thomas

By Pat Murphy and Luke Thomas

March 15, 2006

An angry Mayor Newsom today complained that a Police Academy training class was not possible in March due to a San Francisco Supervisor failing to calendar the necessary funding hearing.

Supervisor Chris Daly chairs the Budget and Finance Committee but agendized only portions of the funding request, Newsom said this afternoon.

For his part, President Aaron Peskin termed the Newsom complaint, "the most shameless politics," citing allocated funds for the entire Police Academy budget as sufficient to pay for the March class. Peskin added that the March class had not been previously scheduled but the Newsom administration wanted to move Apiril's start date up one month.

"I talked to Chief Fong this morning," Peskin told the Sentinel.

"To move it up by a month would cost $90,000. They can absorb that in their budget.

"They're picking a fight. It is disingenuous. It is the lowest form of political life to pander to people to make it sound like the Board doesn't want to have police.

"Gavin Newsom should be ashamed," Peskin stated.

Daly indicated he was unaware that the Academy class funding portion of the total supplemental request was urgent, according to Matier and Ross report in today's San Francisco Chronicle.

Newsom said Daly had shown "procedural disrespect" by not calendaring the item.

"For whatever reason that individual has been unwilling even to have the procedural respect of calendaring the item so that we can move forward as expeditiously as we wished."

"I was rather taken aback for an individual to say, 'Well, I didn't know it was in there.'

"Here's the supplemental request and it has the word 'accelerated.'

"You know there are people's lives at stake here and I don't know why for the life of me why this supplemental hasn't gone through.

Newsom submitted the funding request on February 14, the mayor said, and "we're now in the middle of March and nothing's been calendared…"

The mayor urged other Board members to intervene.

"Here's what the Board can do. They can pull this out as soon as Monday. They can have it as a committee report on the Board agenda on Tuesday and the chief can forward with these notices to get these forty plus ten Academy class members up and running as early as April 10."

Newsom made the remarks in a noon press conference called to announce a reward of $20,000 is jointly being offered by the City and the Presidio Parks Trust in the hit-and-run death of jogger Ashyln Dyer.

Witnesses may call the City confidential tip line at 415-575-4444 or the U.S. Park Police at 415-561-5150.

On a related police issue, Police Chief Heather Fong announced Lt. Charlie Orkes has been appointed director of City community policing efforts after Lt. Con Johnson asked to be relieved of the position.

Police Chief Heather Fong




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