Leal's contract terminated, cause unknown
Leal releases statement
Public Utilities Commission (PUC) manager Susan Leal's contract
was terminated today without cause during a closed session of
the mayoral appointed commission. Though no official reason has
been provided to explain her termination, insiders point to Leal's
record of supporting publicly owned power as one possible reason
that may have led
to Mayor Gavin Newsom's push to terminate her contract.
Photo by Luke
By Maya Strausberg
February 20, 2008
During a special meeting in City Hall this morning, the San
Francisco Public Utilities Commission voted to terminate the contract
of General Manager Susan Leal.
The four-member governing board voted during a closed session
at 9 a.m. and the results were announced immediately following
Leal today released a statement expressing her pride in the accomplishments
of the commission while she managed and said she was given no
cause for the termination.
"I believe that by almost any measure, San Francisco ratepayers
today are served by a more accountable and responsive utility,"
she said in the statement.
Leal listed the Water System Improvement Program, bringing green
power to the Bayview Hunters Point community and reducing flooding
risk as some of the commission's feats in her time with the commission.
"Let me say clearly and without reservation that I am very
proud of what we've accomplished at the SFPUC in the three and
a half years I've been general manager," she said in the
Mayor Gavin Newsom recommended Leal for the position and the
members of the commission voted to approve her in August 2004.
Newsom's office today confirmed Leal will receive $400,000 as
part of her severance package in accordance with her contract,
which would have run through 2009. City Controller Ed Harrington
will approve the exact amount.
Leal will remain in her position for 30 days before Harrington
is brought in as interim general manager.
Susan Leal released the following statement today:
This morning, the members of the San Francisco Public Utilities
Commission voted in closed session to terminate my contract with
the SFPUC without cause. Let me say clearly and without reservation
that I am very proud of what weve accomplished at the SFPUC
in the three and a half years that Ive been General Manager.
The SFPUC today is of the greenest and most sustainable utilities
in the nation. I believe that by almost any measure, San Francisco
ratepayers today are served by a more accountable and responsive
Our water system is more secure, more seismically reliable
and more environmentally responsible. Our multi-billion dollar
Water System Improvement Program is on schedule and on budget.
We are funding new recycled water and groundwater programs for
the first time. As a City we finally lead, not lag, when it comes
to water conservation.
In wastewater, we have made neighborhoods safer from the risk
of flooding during major storms and we have finally initiated
plans to replace our crumbling sewers and aging digesters at the
Southeast Treatment Plant. And we are one of the first cities
in the nation to turn waste grease and oil into clean biofuel.
In power, we have tripled our production of solar energy on
City facilities. We are bringing green power to the Bayview Hunters
Point community as we work to shutter dirty power plants once
and for all.
Overall, as an organization, our improved outlook among bond
rating agencies will save ratepayers millions in financing costs.
And we are a recognized leader in the country among utilities
leading the effort to combat and prepare for climate change.
I proudly stand by each of these accomplishments and more.
For the next thirty days that I am General Manager, I will continue
the work we have started until my last day and I will work with
Mr. Harrington to ensure a smooth transition. I would like to
thank the people of San Francisco for the opportunity to serve
them and Id like to thank the hardworking SFPUC staff for
their ongoing commitment to our ratepayers.
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