Supervisors consider new code of conduct
Alioto-Pier, Daly trade in artful subterfuge
Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier at today's Board of Supervisors
meeting introduced a code of conduct following Supervisor Chris
Daly's assertion last week that Mayor Gavin Newsom is a hypocrite
for cutting funding to substance abuse programs while Newsom,
himself, is enrolled in a substance abuse program.
By Emmett Berg
June 26, 2007
The war of words set
off last week by statements Supervisor Chris Daly uttered
in a public meeting led today to another supervisor proposing
to create penalties for badmouthing at board meetings.
A new code of conduct was needed to ensure the "dignity
and decorum that people expect from our public officials,"
Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier said.
The motion at today's Board of Supervisors meeting came after
Daly, who unsuccessfully proposed
major changes to Mayor Gavin Newsom's budget proposal, complained
at a board meeting last week about what he described were reduced
funding for substance abuse services. The cuts were ironic given
what Daly said were the mayor's unresolved questions over allegations
of cocaine use.
denied the suggestion and accused Daly of coarsening politics.
Today, the pushback continued with the mayoral ally Alioto-Pier
saying Daly "purposely defamed" the mayor and introduced
code of conduct legislation she said would not infringe on the
constitutional right to free speech.
Part of the new behavioral guidelines envisioned by Supervisor
Alioto-Pier would draw up three levels of penalties - ranging
from admonishment to sanction to the most serious, censure - which
board members could propose with the collective assent of a majority
The City already has an Ethics Commission and public employee
codes of conduct in place. Yet Alioto-Pier said a new code would
provide "a way we never had, or frankly, needed before"
to police conduct by elected officials.
Daly, in turn, announced to the board a request to City Attorney
Dennis Herrera to draw up ethical standards for all city officials.
Though Daly showed self-restraint in not citing anyone by name
as his intended target for the ordinance, to observers the ordinance
was clearly directed at Newsom
"I've asked the City Attorney to prepare legislation ordinance
to promote the highest possible ethical workplace standards for
both elected officials and public employees," Daly said.
"The proposed legislation should include provisions against
sexual harassment and preventing hostile work environments by
enacting provisions to prohibit fraternization between supervisors,
or managers, and their direct employees under their direct supervision,"
"Also to prohibit and to enact penalties for intoxication
or substance abuse during meetings of advisory bodies, boards
and commissions, and legislative bodies... also to promote higher
standards of attendance for elected officials and appointed officials
at official public meetings," Daly stated..
Supervisor Chris Daly
Luke Thomas contributed to this report.
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