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tv   BOS Government Audits and Oversight Committee  SFGTV  December 4, 2021 6:00am-9:31am PST

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. >> chairman: good morning. this meeting will come to order. welcome to the december 2nd, 2021, meeting. i'm supervisor dean preston chair of the committee. i'm joineded today by vice chair supervisor connie chan. supervisor hillary ronen will be substituting for supervisor mandelman today. she will be joining us later in the hearing. our committee clerk is john caroll and our thanks to sfgov tv for staffing this meeting. mr. clerk, do we have any announcements? >> clerk: yes. thank you, mr. chair. the minutes will reflect that committee members are participating in this meeting through remote conference.
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access to city service social security essential and advises public participation in the following ways. first, public comment will be available. each speaker will be allowed two minutes to speak unless otherwise stated by the chair. comments or other opportunities to speak during public comment are available to you by phone by calling (415) 655-0001. the meeting id for today's meeting is 24976478686 following that, you will press the pound symbol twice to connect to the meeting. you with hear the meeting discussions, but your telephone line will be muted and in listening mode only. when your item of interest comes up on the agenda dial star three to be added to the
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speak are line. speak clearly and slowly and turn down your television, radio, streaming device, or whatever else you may be using to access today's proceedings. you may submit your public comment in writing either by e-mailing them to me. i'm the government audit oversight committee clerk or you can send your written comments to our office in city hall, that's the clerk's office. city hall's address is 1 dr. carlton b. goodlet place san francisco, california. and items acted upon today are expected to appear on the board of supervisors' agenda on the 15th. >> chairman: thank you, mr. clerk. and before we get started with our agenda, i'd like to make a motion to excuse supervisor
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mandelman for today's g.a.o. meeting. please take a roll call. >> clerk: on the motion offered by chair preston, [roll call] mr. chair, there are two ayes and supervisor ronen is absent. >> chairman: thank you. the motion passes. please call the first item. >> clerk: agenda item number one is a memorandum of understanding international union operating engineers and stationary engineers local 39 to revise san francisco public utilities commission wastewater enterprise rules regarding work schedules and shift assignments members of the public call
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(415) 655-0001. today's meeting id is 24976478686. mr. chair, i received a memo that this item be recommended as an committee report. >> chairman: thank you, mr. clerk. we have a number of folks from d.h.r. who are available for questions. my understanding is that the employee relations director for the department of human resources is here to present. so you have seven minutes or up to seven minutes, mr. graham. and the floor is yours. >> thank you, supervisors. i don't think i'll need 7 minutes, but i appreciate the time.
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the information item in front of you is operation wastewater in the city. we are eliminating the mandatory annual shift wastewater. there will be a voluntary semi-annual shift. however, we just have to give appropriate notice to the union and to the employees. and we agree to expand the number of city and union members in our joint labor management committee from two to four and the parties agree to remodify language about re-opening the contract prematurely to deal with the work issues etc. that's kind of the changes in sum. >> chairman: thank you, mr. graham. and unless we have questions from vice chair chan, we'll go ahead and, mr. clerk, please open public comment on this
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item. >> clerk: thank you, mr. chair. we're monitoring the public call-in number. for those who are watching our meeting on cable channel 26 or via streaming link through please call in now by following the instructions displayed on your screen. by dialling (415) 655-0001. enter the meeting id of 24976478686. press the pound symbol twice followed by three to enter the queue to speak. mr. chair, i'm checking now to see if we have any callers in the queue. please let us know and we'll connect to the first caller. mr. chair, i'm hearing there are no callers. >> chairman: thank you, mr. clerk. no callers? i'm sorry. i heard someone tried to say
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something at the same time. i just want to make sure we have no callers. >> clerk: we were both simultaneously letting you know we have no callers in the queue. >> chairman: okay. thank you. just wanted to make sure. with no callers on this item, public comment is now closed. and thanks to mr. graham and the d.h.r. team as well as the leadership at local 39 for their work in putting these provisions together. i have no questions and i'm seeing none from my fellow committee members. so i would like to go ahead and move this item with recommendation as a committee report. >> clerk: on the motion offered by chair preston this ordinance be recommended as a committee report, [roll call] noting ronen absent. there are two ayes.
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>> chairman: thank you. the motion passes and, mr. clerk, let's call out of order our closed session items, items seven through nine at this time. >> clerk: okay. just a moment, while i jump far forward in my script. agenda items seven through nine members of the public who wish to comment on the litigation, call in the public comment number (415) 655-0001. meeting id is 24976478686. and press pound twice. one more thing, mr. chair, i note that agenda item number seven is also a committee report item at your request.
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>> chairman: thank you, mr. clerk. let's go ahead and open up public comment for the closed session items. >> clerk: okay. i will repeat the routine for public comment. members of the public should call (415) 655-0001. the meeting id is 24976478686, press the pound symbol twice and press star followed by three to enter the queue to speak and await until the prompt indicates your line has been unmuted. let's see if we have any callers in the queue. do we have any callers? >> we have no callers in the queue. >> chairman: thank you. with no callers in queue on these items, public comment is now closed. and i'd like to move to convene in closed session. mr. clerk, please call the roll. >> clerk: on the motion
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offered by chair preston on the agenda item closed sessions to conduct the item discussions, [roll call] mr. chair, there are two ayes. >> chairman: thank you. the motion passes . >> clerk: the government audit and oversight committee was in closed session. item number seven was recommended as a committee report. it will be considered at the december 7th, 2021, meeting, and acted unanimously to recommend agenda items eight and nine to the december 14th
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board of supervisors meeting as regular business. >> chairman: thank you, mr. clerk. and has supervisor ronen joined us yet. >> chairman: let's go ahead and call item three, please. >> clerk: mr. chair, before we do that, there's one more item of business. that's the committee's decision about whether or not to close the case. >> chairman: thank you. motion not to disclose the closed session deliberation. >> chairman: on the motion offered by chair preston to not disclose the closed session deliberations, [roll call] there are two ayes and i note that supervisor ronen is absent. >> chairman: thank you, mr. clerk. the motion passes.
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let's call item three. >> clerk: item 3 is adoption of the minutes and revitalization finance district and determining other matters in connection there defined in the resolution text. members of the public should call the public comment call-in number. call (415) 655-0001. meeting id 24976478686 then
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press pound twice. >> chairman: thank you, mr. clerk. we will present on this item. >> thank you, chair preston and good morning, supervisors. the item before you today is a resolution approving additional territory to and adoption of the amendments infrastructure treasure island. this legislation is directly related to two resolutions brought before this committee and the board approved in october. this is the next step in a relatively complicated legislative process. it includes many steps that sort of culminated out of a january 11th hearing we have coming up. at which point, we will be finalizing, the resolution is the city approving the amended i.f.p. which will be prepared pursuant to the way we presented to this committee back in october. so it's just a formality and if
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there are any questions, myself and the treasure island development authority are available. >> chairman: thank you. and welcome supervisor ronen. any questions before we open up for public comment. >> clerk: thank you, mr. chair, we're checking to see if we have callers in the queue. for those watching our meeting on cable channel 26 or via streaming call (415) 655-0001. today's meeting id is
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24976478686 followed by pound twice. and it informs you that your line has been unmuted. that will provide you times to begin your comments. let us hear from the first caller. >> we have no callers in the queue. >> chairman: thank you. with no callers in queue, public comment on this item is closed and thank you. this is, you know, we spent some time on this item previously and there were a number of followup items we were anticipating to come to the committee as one of them and so we've talked about this previously. i have no additional questions about this item. seeing no one on the roster. i want to move this item with recommendation. >> clerk: on the motion offered by chair preston that this resolution be recommended to the board of supervisors,
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[roll call] there are three ayes. >> chairman: thank you. this item passes. let's call item two, mr. clerk. >> clerk: agenda item number two is a resolution approving a historical property contract involving and administrator's code 71 and authorizing the planning director to record the historical contract. the public call-in number is (415) 655-0001. meeting id 24976478686 press the pound symbol twice followed by star three if you wish to enter the queue to speak.
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a system prompt will indicate you have raised your hand. you may then begin your comments, and, mr. chair, i am in receipt of your memo that this. >> chairman: thank you, mr. clerk. and we also have supervisor peskin joining us. so welcome, supervisor peskin to the g.a.o. committee. colleagues, this particular address is within 500' of my residence. therefore, i will be seeking to recuse myself from this item and will turn the gavel over to vice chair chan in my absence and hope that there will be a motion to excuse me from this item. thank you. >> supervisor chan: thank you, chair preston.
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i'd like to make a motion to excuse chair preston from this item. mr. clerk, can we please have a roll call on that motion. >> clerk: on the motion, [roll call] i note the recusal of chair preston, madam vice chair, there are two ayes. >> supervisor chan: great. the motion passes. i understand today we have a joint presentation from the planning department and i believe we have ms. elizabeth gordon john here and jonathan from the planning department and michael james of the assessor's office to present. i'm sorry about that. and i think you each will have seven minutes to present.
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>> good morning supervisors. planning department staff. legislation authorizes local governments to enter into ten year contracts. this agreement provides property tax reductions to owners of those properties who can then allocate the savings towards an appropriate maintenance restoration process. local landmarks in san francisco, significant downtown buildings as well as those listed on the national california places eligible to apply for the mills act. the planning department currently holds 45 active mills act contracts. these include single-family homes and large scale commercial buildings. this program creates an incentive for proper payments of the city's architectural landmarks so as not to delay
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rehabilitation progress. mills act applications are due may 1st of every year. department staff reviews applications for completeness and works with applicants to revise rehabilitation and restoration and maintenance plan to ensure future work will be conducted with a national secretary of interior standards. staff also reviews mills act applications. as noted, these considerations are number one necessity, the project will require a financial incentive to help ensure the preservation of the property. meeting this criterion establishes that the property is deteriorated and the need for substantial restoration that has significant associated cost.
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two, investment. the project will result in investment in the property other than maintenance. meeting this criteria establishes that the property owner is committed to investing the investigation rehabilitation and maintenance of the property. three, distinctiveness. the project preserves a distinct example of the property that's especially deserving of the contract due to exceptional. recently designated landmarks. of these are properties that have been recently designated and that should be given priority consideration. and five, legacy business. the project will preserve a property at which a business included in the facility in the legacy business. meeting this criteria establishes that the owner is committed to preserving the property including the physical features. the application review process often includes determining whether the ability requirements in addition to being formally listed,
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eligibility is limited to properties with an assessed value of $3 million or less, a single-dwelling. however, if the property exceeds the assessed value, the historic preservation commission may recommend that the board of supervisors grant an extension. if, one, the site building or structure is particularly significant and, two, granting the exemption or fits in the exemption oversight. >> good morning. jonathan zimmer. planning department staff. the application before you is for 714 steiner street which is
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located on the east side between hayes and grove streets. 714 steiner is one of the buildings on postcard road directly across from alamo square. it's a three-story overcar garage constructed in 1895 featuring a bay window. 714 steiner is currently valued by the assessor's office by over $3 million and a report to determine the condition of the property as they meet the requirements. 714 steiner is an important contributor to the alamo. it survived the ravages of the 1906 earth cakes and fires. the building contributes to the alamo square as a highly in
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tact architecture spanning from the 1870s into the 1920s. although the property is not in danger of demolition or substantial alteration, the applicant's commitment to preserving the building including addressing deferred maintenance and removing the original driveway to restore lower windows and siding. window surrounds and the front dorm registry way among other items. removing the garage, restoring the historical location of bay street windows. replacing steps and restoring and repairing windows and doors. the estimated cost of proposed rehabilitation work is
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$1,299,900. it includes annual inspections and any necessary related repairs to roof, siding, windows, and stairs. the estimated cost of maintenance work is $4,500 annually. all proposed work is intended to meet standards. the subject property meets three of the five priority. necessity, distinctiveness. rehabilitation will require significant cost and preservation of subject property and the property owner will invest additional money other than for routine maintenance. finally, the proposed rehabilitation process will preserve and enhance the integrity of those renowned resilience. the application for 714 steiner street was unanimously approved by a historic preservation
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commission on october 26th. this concludes my presentation. we can answer any questions that you have. thank you. >> vice chair: i see supervisor peskin raised his hand. >> supervisor peskin: thank you, acting chair chan. i have not spoken to the planning department about this or the project sponsor, but i have a long interest in the involvement of the mills act and shepherd but ultimately led to a smoother glide path that i'm delighted has resulted in over 40 contracts being enter into by the city, but i do have
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some general comments and then some specific questions. one is that i appreciate in the packet, the planning department i have been asking questions and some of my colleagues have been asking questions about whether these contracts should go on in perpetuity or whether they should be terminated at some point. because it's a rolling ten year contract and to that end, the board of supervisors terminate them ten years in the future based on the idea that recoup through reduced property taxes
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their investment in the historic resource and rehabilitation and maintenance. so i think -- i'm not speaking specifically to this project. it would be great if an additional collum could be added to that chart that shows it's current termination date and if, indeed the board of supervisors have finally terminated otherwise it continues to roll on an annual basis. i think that would be a helpful thing to have in the board of supervisors to be able to review as contracts come forward. with regard to the current proposal at 714 steiner, i wanted to ask a couple of questions. when looking on the project information map and maybe mr. zimmer you mentioned this, maybe you didn't. i didn't hear you mention it. it sounded like the proposed scope of work was not just a historic rehabilitation, but also a rear addition in the
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rear yard. am i correct on that? >> department staff, i can answer that question. you are correct, supervisor peskin. it's a separate application hand in hand with the repair work that's proposed as part of this mills act contract, but there's additional work that was proposed and kind of separate from rehabilitation and that was heard as a certificate of appropriateness by the historic preservation commission. >> supervisor peskin: and was that granted? >> it was approved unanimously. >> supervisor peskin: okay. the reason i ask that is -- while i think it's great and lotable for property owners to invest in historic resources and receive a benefit from the city in the form of property
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tax reduction, the question i always ask myself in these mills act contracts where the board has wide discretion and latitude to grant or not to grant or for that matter to grant longer than 10 years. i always ask myself, would this project happen anyway. would the project sponsor invest in these historic rehabilitations were it not for the mills act contract. and so when i see it combined with a with other investment in the property, it makes me want to ask that question which is, okay, if and god bless the property owner for expanding their house and rehabilitating the historic resource on postcard road in alamo square,
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would it be happening anyway and the way i think about this is hey if you're making a major investment and putting a rear yard addition on the property, you're probably going to do these things anyway in which case, i wonder whether or not we should be giving somebody a $30,000 a year tax break and that kind of raises the second question which is, okay, if we grant this. do we want to then terminate it by subsequent action. so those are the questions i wanted to raise and what i wanted to get clarity on is that the $31,000 or $31,578 or whatever it is that does not in any way include the otherwise permitted additions. and that was not part of the
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calculation. >> good morning supervisors. michael john from the assessor's office. the additional work will be assessed and added on top of a current existing base value. if the additional work is part of the mills act contract, the added value would be included in that if it's not part of it, we would value the existing property and add that on top. for the living area. >> supervisor peskin: included from the mills act. >> thanks for that question. the addition and this is the work we're talking about that's
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not pertaining to rehabilitation is not part of the contract. >> supervisor peskin: okay. and then i guess maybe to the project sponsor and, again, let me thank you for investing and one of the most historic spots of the city, i mean, i saw on the information map that the property was recently purchased and again to the question that i raised earlier which is would you be likely to do these historic rehabilitations absent the mills act? >> vice chair chan: thank you, supervisor peskin. i think that's directed at the
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property owner ms. elizabeth culver. sorry. i think she is here, isn't she? mr. clerk? >> clerk: yes, madam vice chair. her line is muted presently. she can unmute her line to address the question. >> vice chair chan: i just wanted to double check to make sure i know we had the planning department's presentation and assessor's office you're also going to have a presentation. is that correct? i just want to confirm. >> just a short presentation, yes. >> chairman: would you mind and then we can continue on with the presentation from the assessor's presentation as well. >> yes. thank you, supervisors. the question is what i have continued with the restoration. i just want to make sure i understand this properly. regardless of the mills act, i
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was aware of the mills act when i purchased the home and i had known based on that it was in alamo square historic district that it would potentially qualify. that being said, the condition of the home is not great. it's over 100 -- it's about 130 years old and it needs a lot of repair. in discussions with the historic preservation committee and evaluation of the home, i'm seeking the mills act sort of in helping covering the cost to repair specifically the exteriors of the home and help maintain it going forward in the future as a historic resource for san francisco. thanks. >> chairman: supervisor peskin, does that answer your question or do you think we can go on to the assessor's office presentation? >> supervisor peskin: yeah.
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let's go on to the assessor's office presentation. >> chairman: great. and please go ahead. >> thank you. thank you, supervisors. so when a property is subject to a historical mills act contract, the assessor is formed to do a value comparison test. if you remember on each january lean day, a new value will be enrolled each year. the subject property of the two-family dwelling currently undergoing a full renovation at the time of the appraisal and the mills act value will reflect this temporary condition. the first comparison test is a 2021 fact share value. and this value is simply the original purchase price of
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$3,550,000 in year 2022. and that's located in the seventh column from the left on the report that you're seeing in front of you. the second comparison test is the value based upon the restricted income approach and set by the state board of equalization and a risk rate established by the revenue and taxation code. the property rent could achieve and the expenses the property would incur. an estimated $110,000 is then used in 11.5% built-up cap rate. this results in income value of $951,784. that's the eighth column that you see in front of you. the third comparison test is the value based upon comparable sales and this value is estimated to be $2,500,000 for
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the subject property. and it's the restricted income approach would be the mills act value of $951,784.' the difference between the value of $3,586,777 and the lowest income value of $951, 784 and this equates to a property tax savings of $31,500 for the first year. [please stand by]
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by virtue of the fact supervisor preston lives within
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500 feet this isautomatically within state conflict law required to recuse himself . given that situation, usually i would talk with the district supervisor but given the district supervisor is forbidden from talking. if the commission iswell and i would like the opportunity to speak about this a little further with the project sponsor and planning department . two, with what i think is the right solution but i think eight $31,000 a year first year tax reduction in perpetuity is not the right solution, but again if other situations we limited it for a period of 10 years and not let it roll in perpetuity so i like the opportunity to create more work for myself andmeet with planning the project sponsor
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about this if the committee is willing to do so . >> yes and should we consider. i'm willing to present a motion to continue. i think my question to supervisor peskin and ronan is that knowing should we have a time certain, i do not think we should have another meeting, is that right? this is the last geo government oversight committee meeting for the year of 2020, 2021 and so we will not be havinganother one until 2022 but i want to be clear about that. if we were to continue it would be in 2022 . >> if we get together i can go to the clerk andcommittee chair and have it scheduled for your
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first meeting in january . so i think if you continue to thecall of the chair given this is the last meeting that's probably the right action . >> i want to call on to planning ms. elizabeth borden. i blew do believe there is some kind of difference if i'm not mistaken with this that there is a statutory deadline with this contract. >> yes, thank you supervisor. the contract to get all the signatures needed, that needs to be done by the end ofthis year . otherwise the contract will roll over so it wouldn't be able to be accessed. it would actually go until next november.
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>> my apologies, i do not have theknowledge of that .>> it's too late to get it on the lien this year. it's too late for it to go to the tax collector has to know in a certain time period for it to affect property taxes for the next property tax cycle. >> got it, which is like may 2022 supervisor ronen . >> i want to give supervisor peskin the opportunity to meet with the property owner. supervisor peskin is our resident expert on supervisors so i very much respect his opinion onthese issues . i'm wondering if in order to you know, make sure we make this cycle, we could ask the president to transfer this item to the budget committee which meets that we could
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you know, have an opportunity for supervisor peskin to meet with the property owner and then decide the matter before the end of the year. >> will that work for everybody here?that would be decided if we wereto make a motion and then we can decide hereafter . okay. i'm moving this to item ... we need to open to public comment thank you mister clark. i can readhis face . mister clark , please open this item for public comment. >> checking to see if we have callers in the queue. for those watching on cable 26 or elsewhere if you wish to see on this agenda itemnumber two . please call in would dial 415 550001, enter today's
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meeting id which is 2497 647-8686. press the pound symbol twice and pressstar followed by three to enter the queue to speak . and for those who may be on hold in the queue please continue to waituntil you're prompted to begin you will be informed your linehas been on muted .please all hang on for a moment . dowe have any colors in the queue ? >> we have no callers in the queue. >> president:seeing no public comment , public comment is closed. i want to before we move on to make the motion to continue this item to the chair i want to get a moment to miss alert to see if she were to make any final remarks on her property. are you still present?
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>> yes, thank you so much. i've prepared a few words to say if you don't mind supervisors. thank you and i'm happy to continue this conversation going forward . as you may know a lot of the repairs are things that have been put off for a long time so it would be helpful to get this done sooner than later but anyways, i'll just read what i've prepared. i'm leah colbert, and today i want to tell you a bit about why i purchased this all. one of the things i love about san francisco are these beautiful victorian and edwardian homes and when it came time to purchase my own house i knew i wanted something special. when i saw another famous square come up forsale i decided to take a look . as you may know the home is nearly 130 years old and in need of much repair i fell in love withthe house , location in the alamo square neighborhood and the views particularly evil and the
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golden gate bridge. based on the condition of the house i knew it would be an undertaking to restore it but i consider it a great honor to preserve the iconic properties of alamo square and i'm seeking to move back to covering the cost of the repairs to the exterior of the home that has been neglected for a long time and i'd also like to help keep it looking beautiful hopefully for many years to come and i think i'm open supervisor peskin todiscussing ending the contract over a period of time after these repairs have been made . i think i'm open to that . i'd definitely be happy to show you the house as well if you like to come by and see for yourself . the row of houses is really special so thankyou all so much >> i had a good friend for many years who lived a couple of doors up so i spent a lot of time on 700 block >> i want to say watch out for the invitation. he might never leave .>> i
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look forward to having that conversation . i think that i agree with supervisor ronen that supervisor peskin is our in-house historian and truly has a lot ofknowledge . i think the conversation will be productive about the preservation of this iconic property that i think people all around the world are coming to san francisco just forthat . supervisor ronen. >> i want to thank you for taking this on. it is not an easy or inexpensive task and we all love this block so much so it really is a local patriotic undertaking to san francisco's history to take this on and to be so thoughtful about it and
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do it right and work with us in such a positiveway. thank you for doing that . >> thank you all so much. >> i moved for this to contain this item and do i need a second or can i go ahead and move to roll call? >> there no need for a second in thecommittee . >> i will get information from planning and be in touch. >> president: thank you supervisor ronen. >> on the motion offered by vicechair chan thatthis resolution be continued , vice church and . [roll call vote] and noting chair preston is recusedfrom acting on this item there are two votes . >> should bring back the chair.
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>> clerk: here he is. mister chair,we concluded with agenda item number 10 . >> run back! here's your virtual gavel. >> thank you vice chair chan. and mister clark let's call the next item. >> clerk: agenda item number four is a hearing to receive and review the external auditors printed annual financial report and management letter if any related to the city audit forfiscal year ending june 30, 2020 . external audit for fiscal year 2022 2021 asrequired of the charter section . members of the public wishing to provide public comment should call the call in number, it is still 415 655-0001.
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id is 24176478686. press the pound twice and press theákey followed by the number three toenter the queue . assistant prompt will indicate youhave raised your hand . wait till the system indicates your line has been unmuted and you may begin your comments. >> president: colleagues, as you know as gao chair my duty to introduce the hearing or the comprehensive annual financial report and independent audit results for fiscal year 2019 2020 and our duty as a committee to review and the item before us.the financial report and the independent audit apartment to ensure that the city is complying with governmental accounting standards. also requires an independent audit to ensure material
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compliance with those standards by a certifiedaccounting firm and we will be hearing more in detail from the auditors . i really do want to thank the independent auditor from the ngo and tmg for not just their work on this extensive project but also for the time spent breathing my office, our staff, myself and other offices as well and being in such good indication leading up to this hearing.i want to thank the controller'soffice , our controller ben rosenfield. he is also financial report manager and congressman frank who answered our offices call at all hours of the day this evening as we prepared for and
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try to tackle this extensive material. so it's an extremely important work for the greater public. i want to go ahead and just introduce the presenters on this item who i've mentioned that we are joined by our controller ben rosenfield. by congressman frank and also by our external auditor amy louis, partner at ngo and lisa avis, managing director at tp mg. and they will be presenting on this item and then i also understand we have representatives of the department that some of the findings referenced who are available for questions should committee members have them. i will turn it over perhaps to mister rosenfield. i leave it to you to start us off or tell us who will be starting it off and i will start the clock at 10 minutes.
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>> thank you mister chair and good morning supervisors. i'll introduce the item and turn it over to kpmg and ngo to take your questions. as you know, each fiscal year begins with animportant document and ends with an important document . the board of supervisors adopts a budget for the fiscal year financially for the city and then each year our office works with the department that closes the books on that fiscal year and to report results, actual financial results for the year. we did that in the annual comprehensive financial report and that financial statement which we produced is then audited by external accounting firm . to ensure it. >> the city's financial conditionand to offer you as a
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governing board for your auditing their findings regarding that . so that's what we're here today to do. it's an opportunity for the auditors to work on their findings for fiscal year ending 2020. and their plans for their work for the fiscal year 2021. which are in the process. with that i will turn it over to andy louis from ngo. >> thank you very much. lisa and i have prepared a short presentation so i'll go aheadand share my screen . can everyone see this? we will have questions for the two of us. the presentation today is a
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selection by mister rosenfield is to cover the audit results as well as planning items for fiscal year 2021. first of all i'm going to start with the 2020 audit results. this particular slide arises the different components that each of our audit team has. they have the different audit components performed by ngo and those that are rotted by kpmg. these still have not changed from the previous year. these are items that are covered by our contract board with in their audit with the city. in terms of the audit results we had a couple of findings with the committee at today's meeting.the first one was on financial reporting for san francisco general hospital and then related to receivable credit balances or accounts
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receivable for patient billing purposes, as you may know there are differences for patient accounting for the electronic health record system. it's the one that keeps track of thebilling as well as any adjustments that may be necessary in the building process . while there are processes here for adjustments and credit balances within the electronic health record system such as those that would not translate to a financial system or financial reporting purposes. for that we had management had agreed to review the issues that were brought up and had been adjusted for financial statements for fiscal year 202 . going on to the second item this particular report relates to the compliance audit over financial the federal awards
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for the year 2020 and in particular this particular program affects the grants for a public assistance program that relate to some of the additional funding that we are provided to enter the pandemic and these awards have very specific performance period in which the expenditures must be incurred and when we went through the expenditure we found that certain expenditures that were claimed were not considered to be incurred within the eligibility period. and as such the management had to adjust the schedule of the expendituresfor the city . and as you can see in the management forms there are some on the slides here. management did agree with the findings and revise their processes to prevent further reoccurrence of such findings . we did issue a smaller opinion
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on the financial payment and other major programs. these were the only issues that we identified that were significant to be reported in our audit report. next i will turn it over to lisa for coverage on the sf puc. >> as it relates to the entities that were audited by kpmg, the opinions that were issued were all green opinions or unmodified opinions on the financialstatement . we only have one finding to report as a result of our audit procedures and this is a portion of the ongoing city investigation to get to a place in 2020 of the various city departments. our finding relates to the criminal actions that were
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>> the one change i would like to point out as you probably know is there has been a name change in the report. the report that was previously noted known as the comprehensive annual financial report has been changed to the annual comprehensive financial report understatement 98 and
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that was just issued months ago so that was achange in terms of the name only . this next slidepresents our audit team. this is the audit team on the ngo side . these are the audits for each of the components . this is the kpmg audit team. the next couple of slides covers our responsibility as the auditor. this particular slide is to summarize some of the communications we have with respected engagement letters. the one thing to note is that we perform our audits in accordance with generally acceptedauditing standards as well as government auditing standards . in our audit reviews we have internal controls as well as compliance requirements that
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may have a potential impact on the financialstatements but that is not the purpose of our audit . our audit is not designed to discover deficiencies in internal control but if we come across any deficiencies that are significant , that require attention frommanagement as well as the audit committee we will report them and bring it to your attention . similarly this slide covers the responsibilities of management as you know. management is responsible for preparing the financial statements at one of their presentations as well as to define, implement and maintain effective internal controlsover financialreporting as well as compliance . i won't go over the details here . more importantly their audit timeline as we have mentioned already, the audit for 2021 is currently underway. this is very much a year-round
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process.we started off planning back in march through may when we meet with the respective management teams of the members of the audit committee on a planning process and performing risk assessment during the june through august timeframe is when it will be called interim procedures on testing internal controls and performing it applications as such. in the september through october timeframe is when they come back to audit the year end financial statements after the books are closed. we are actually going through that process right now. in november through march it's a long period. this is the time to issue many of the financial statements as wellas the compliance audit over federal reports . that's one thing i would like to highlight is the federal awards audits arenormally to nine months after the year and of the march deadline .
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because of the new funding and additional funding that we have received under the care zach . the omd has extended the timeline by six months so the due date for the federal audit is technically september 2022 so i did want tomention that change . this last slide here, i have summarized the accounting update. they are effective for the city in fiscal year 2021. there are three factors that are effective. the ones that have themost significant change is 84 . activities which may change the way certain activities are accounted for in the city's financial statements and you may see a difference in presentation as it relates to
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thecustody and funds and the agency funds that have been included in the financial statements in the past . and with that i'd like to close with questions and we would like to also thank management in our audits throughout the year as we go through the audit process currently. i'll open that up for questions. >> thank you for your presentations.if you have some questions first four miss davis, you how to slide around the top with respect to puc. and i'm trying to understand why that was limited to puc. let me just kind of offer there are limits within your role as auditor and presenting these reports as to getting into the
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weeds of various allegations or certain testingthe veracity of different claims and i recognize that . i've spoken with the controller and others around the various different ways that allegations around corruption or fraud can play out and are reflective or not reflective of the scope of some of these but i do , i did want to drill down a little on why that slide was just held out to you. we have allegations and indictments, we have resignations and supervisor at public works. we have major issues with city leadership at the and i and resignations at the office of human services andmayor's office , the administrator general manager kelly. so can you comment on whether
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and to what extent what she put on that slide around puc is sort of the same analysis of the departmentsor if there's some reason that's excluded ? >> of the various entities that you requested, puc was the only one we at kpmg at audited so we had to keep thescope of what we did specific to puc . i can d for twoanti-on the other entities . >> thank you lisa in response to a question mister chair , in relation to the issues that may have brought up, during the audit process we have these issues in materiality in relation to the financials as a whole. unlike the situation in puc
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where the general manager was at the top with that particula audit , the different departments as i mentioned while they there have been allegations made in the grand scheme of things the impact as well as the potential control issues and what not in relation to the city as a whole were not considered significant for that matter. but you did mention the city administrator having a role in it but i did want to clarify that the administrator has not been formally charged with any activities . while there were allegations made and we did look into the allegations as part of our audit processes it was not so pervasive that we thought it warranted a particular comment by the city as awhole . >> i guess point taken as to there's folks who resigns,
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folks who've been indicted and each individual was in a different situation and sometimes there's no finding one way or another . iappreciate that . what i don't get those for example is with the wrong menu or situation for example in publicworks . why the comments around the tone at the top and ... my understanding is what we're really talking about is whether there may be grounds to question the veracity of you have someone in charge like insuring the initial laws are followed and then there's an indictment for corruption and does that undermine his representation so we're not? i don't want to suggest that that changes and in fact i think in some ways it doesn't really change the numbers on
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the spreadsheet or at least we don't know what it does. i don't want to make assumptions about that but we are saying or you are saying that that creates a tow that the top issue that you're sliding as a material weakness. and not necessarily there's an impact on the financial statements , but there's still regardless a material weakness because of that. i don't, i still don't understand why thatsame statement wouldn't be made . for example around public works under the leadership of monica. >> in regards to that let me explain. this was one of many departments the city had so in relation to the city's annual comprehensive financial report while it is a significant
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apartment department and there are many dollars we did not think that it questions the city's integrity as a whole . if we were to perform an audit for that specific department, that may be a different matter. i do want to emphasize that we do just with assessments accordingly according to this situation as well as some of the laws that have come to light but it's very important to remember that our audit as a whole or purposes of the annua comprehensive financial report have been considered . we wouldn't necessarily report a finding for a particular department if unless it's pervasive. i think one other comment addressed as well. we did not find any evidence,
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fraudulent financial reporting in the financial report or any misstated amount inthe financial statement . so hopefully that addresses your concerns . >> i think so. maybe the piece i was saying is if there's a specific audit of puc and therefore this finding flows from that it's not, even if you have the identical situation in another department you wouldn't necessarily find a material weakness on the overall sitting audit as distinct from this specific audit of thatdepartment . is that right? is that why puc is singled out in that way where other departmentsmay have had similar issues ? wouldn't it be in the scope of this report? >> that could be the case. we did have to report separately on puc.
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>> chair: thank you, supervisor chan. >> i wanted to actually follow up what chair preston's thought. one is that the fact that we know for sure because now it's a public and approved settlement between the city and county of san francisco which we have $100 million overcharging, returning that ratepayer and we know that that fell to mister mohammed nuru so in that instance we know there is misconduct there with city and county of san francisco in relation to precollege he.
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how did your audit address something like that for is it even within your scope through your audit?>> we did look at significant contracts as part of our audit but it's very much expenditure driven if you will. interms of the audits that occurred in past years we look at whether expenditures were reported in the financial statement . so even though in this case there were questions as to how the procurement process had occurred andthe legitimacy of such contracts ,the expenditures were in fact incurred and properly reported in the financialstatements . >> what we're saying is and there is no gap . i have no doubt and thank you so much for your audit and i have no doubt as to your professionalism and your ability to audit our city as a
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whole but i guess what i'm drilling down to is that your audit is there's a specific scope and you're looking at specific protocols within departments of the city so therefore in this case while you do the due diligence something like that would not be detected in the normal routine audit that youwould conduct anyway , is that correct? >> that is correct.the objective ofour audit is necessary and the statements as well as compliance over federal awards . if we do note matters that warrant further attention we will communicate to the appropriate level of management and bring it forward to the committee for your consideration but depending on the objective of the audit is designeddifferently to identify specific issues . issues such as procurement fraud and procurement deficiencies would not be a purpose of our financial
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statement audit . but if we did see those matters we would bring it to your attention. >> help me understand and it's really my layperson knowledge that when it comes downto it , while we're doing an audit of our city, it's actually very different than something like a forensic financial investigation which a forensic financial investigation is specifically drilling down with different expertise and scope and what they're looking atis a whole different realm of things . look into finding fraud or concerning that there's a fraud. so in trying to find fraud or mismanagement of city funds it wouldn't be from an audit but more from something like a forensic financial
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investigation audit or through our controller's office integrity review, is that correct? would you agree to that? >> that would not be the purpose of afinancial statement audit. it would be the purpose of a forensic audit . >> i think that'smy last comment . i am, thank you so much for the audit because i think that that helps for us in terms of our material witness in complying for our fema grant. i must say federal agencies have not always been the easiest to deal with during a pandemic and in transition to what happens or administration but i really appreciate the auditor for helping us make sure we are in compliance and able to go to our job but also
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while knowing that you are not in a forensic financial investigation or audit , we do actually have material witness in our financial reporting specifically and i find that alarming but at the same time appreciated because i understand that in good faith that you sort of find it for us and say hey, this is what's happening with youragency . although within the scope of your work this is a review. would you say that you could confirm that your expertise here? >> we can confirm that. >> thank you chair. >> chair: thank you supervisor. i wanted to give our controller
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an opportunity to ... i think many of the questions i asked supervisor chan i imagine anyone watching this hearing has similar thoughts and i know that's been kind of our challenge is understanding this is not the sole investigation or analysis of unpacking and investigating a lot of things that have been revealed over the past couple of years. i know there's a number of fronts that this is being addressed on and within the limits of obviously something maybe pending investigation and so forth but i wanted to give mister rosenfield the score to maybe add a little more context to this about what we've heard what is within the scope of what the external auditors did. if you could share or your team what's in the scope of or confirmation of your
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understanding of that but also how your office is addressing some of the issues that supervisor chan just raised. >> thank you for the question. i think it's been discussed. it's probably important to differentiate financial statement audit which is the auditors arepresenting here today versus other tools we have two follow-up , investigate, detect and prevent illicit activity in the city . as you know our office in the city attorney have spent thousands of hours at this point going up on issues raised in the indictments of several former city officials including the former director of the puc and public works and others. that work continues. to date we've issued seven integrity reports that detail
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our findings regarding weaknesses in the control environment in different parts of the city government with recommendations to improve those environments . similar to the findings for kpmg we have noted lapses in the tone at the top in several places that has contributed to those weaknesses . and as you know as well the board has worked quickly as has the mayor to implement those recommendations . we do have additional deliverable plans incoming. i expect we are going to issue an audit related to the puc community benefit plan this month and we are following. we have plans early in 2022 to issue follow-up work related t specific allegations related to former director or former general manager kelly . as well as other products. so as was discussed here i think it's been as you said important to note this is a financial statement audit the
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city has a broader array of work ongoing related to the troubling accusations beginning in 2020. >> and the status update on what i think supervisor chan referred to as the more forensic audit or analysis year is that ongoing? >> supervisor chan was specifically referencing ecology and some of our work with the city attorney and that's including kind of the detection and settlement of $100 million to residential customers in the city. which theboard approved earlier this year. our work in that space does continue . we have ongoing meetings with ecology continuing.we have a large information request that was filed a month ago and weare looking forward to working
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through that with them . one point to make on the ecology itemand kind of why it's not touched by our financial statement . in that case our financial statements and ouraudit is covering activities flowing into the city and out of the city . so money into and out of and in the specific case our findings in that settlement spoke to money doesn't pass through us. it did involveproblems between ecology and residential customers . so that's another reason that topic was not touched in the scope of this financial audit. >> got it, thank you. and i guess maybe my last question on this and i've got a couple of the questions with specific findings but what happens from here? we have an audit where there is no reason to believe that some
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of these top issues, the criminal indictment had an impact or a significant impact on the numbers before. to the extent ... i don't want to speculate too much but to the extent that investigations or other forensic analysis or anything finds differently, is that the subject of a future audit? does it get amended? i don't want to assume the worst. i want to assume the best but what i'm hearing is an audit can be completed, signed off on by the board without really knowing what impact if any there is on the tone of the top issues on any of the line items before us. and that there's ongoing work
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to look in to do that more forensic analysis. what is the mechanism just procedurally which with which thosefindings are complete and the final investigation everything is wrapped up . what if any mechanism is there to really look at whether there is that impact on these numbers? >> of course and financial statements for subsequent period will continue to be audited so that's kind of one chapter that we have is a board to ensure our financial statements are free and clear. i guess as someone that works to prepare the statements and then present them to the external auditors and brings them off into the mayor and the board i would consider nothing more important than evidence of fraud or miss doing or to
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reporting. so if i were to ever detect something that crossed over into that space, some of my first calls would be to the external auditors to review with them and ask them to help with the review andfrankly to the audit committee and board of supervisors to make you aware of it . so beyond that kind of urgency and immediacy if we were ever to detect anything that implicated financial statements we will continue to publish in public reports our findings regarding the lapses in the control environmentwe find as part of this public integrity series . >> i appreciate that. i did want to ask a couple of questions about some of the pacific's findings and adjust the status particularly on the credit balances you on general
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hospital. and i'm encouraged by what sounds like dph both being cooperative and trying to resolve that issue but also i think the $31 million item at the end of last fiscal year being currently inthe neighborhood of $4 million . but i just want to give dph the opportunity since that has been raised and i know there's been good work on it and thank you for the additional info you provided our office since we have a letter from dph on, i would love to hear from them what the status of meeting those recommendations is. >> i believe we have matthew dph on to this item. >> chair: welcome. >> thank you for your question chair. so we did have when we
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transition over from our legacy patient billing system to our existing or new epic billing system, there was a technical issue that occurred during fiscal, during the implementation in the first year of epic which created duplication of adjustments that were right off the adjustments that were posted to the system. and it was not resolved by the end of the fiscal year and it was obviously a finding and we noted the finding and we responded by taking, by reviewing our policies and procedures as it pertains to credit balances and implementing procedures to mitigate any incorrect postings that had been made to the system or to the epic financial system and in addition to that we on a monthly basis on our
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financial statements we are reviewing transactions posted as credit balances to ensure they are appropriately reflected on our financial statement goals ona monthly basis and an annual basis . >> chair: thank you and with those changes to the avis, those have fully met the concerns raised in the report? >> i'll take this question. we performed a auditover the general hospital . it's something we are looking into as part of our 21 audit process and we always go by the puritan action plan as related to the previous year's deficiency so any findings we mayhave corrected . we are continuing to go through fiscal year 2021 audit. we do believe the deficiency
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hasbeen corrected . >> chair: thank you. and on the fema disaster fund area where there was material weakness identified, i just wanted to give mister delarosa from the controller's office the floor to address the status of addressing those. my understanding is that was primarily a timing issue of expense outside the applicable period. i don't know, maybe you can elaborate . both on the issues laid out but on the steps the city is taking to address those. >> certainly supervisors, mark delarosa for the controller's office and also the need for the citywide cost recovery. regarding the fema public
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assistance as you know the cost of the covid pandemic is unlike any otherincidents . so in the very beginning we track the data and processing actions including how we captured the fema eligible costs and expenditures in our financial system. there was a lot of care in terms of how they track certain expenditures and one thing that we also noticed is that some of the eligibility requirements fema had kept on changing which also impacted quality that we had earlier on. but since then cost recovery team has been working closely with the department and various financial phones to ensure that there is increased sharing of information to ensure that we capture expenditures more accurately and completely in
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termsof what it is and up submitting . we are continuously working on that and hopefully on the next round of the audit that will be observed. >> chair: was that an issue across the board or was it with a particular type of expense or particular department expensing them? where was the issue? >> it was definitely across-the-board. fema had a dozen different buckets of cost eligible so at the beginning we had to make sure the department's new buckets to capture a certain cost so that took a little bit of time. i think the year and a half into it most departments have certainly captured the various costs. >> chair: thank you mister delarosa. i have one more question before wego to public comment .
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you commented on to miss louis i believe commented on the timing of the current audit that's occurring but i wanted to focus on the timing here on the period covered by the report. i know this is all later than usual but in terms of any applicable deadline to this report and the timing of that. >> may i clarify, are you asking about thereport on the federal compliance these ? >> yes. >> normally that would be march 31of 2020 . has extended the current deadline is september 30 of 2020. we are working diligently with the city to try to issue the report before the deadline but knowing that it is a very involved process, one of the
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situations that everyone is dealing with nationwide is we are currently awaiting further guidance from the us management budget which issues the minimum auditing standards for many of these federal award programs so i'm sure that guidance is available on that auditor as well as oddities depending on the guidance to finishthe fiscal year 2021 audit . we are conducting the award compliance audits for programs that are not effective necessarily by the tv issue but many of the programs are pending that guidance so as it relates to this fema program as well as others funded by care to, those will likely be on hold until the new year in january 2022. at this point unfortunately we don't have a time certain as to when the audits may be completed but the goal is to
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issue a finished report as soon as possible before the federal deadline. >> chair: thank you miss louis and miss rosenfield. >> i want to expand for the committee. miss louis is speaking to the single audit or grants compliance . our hotel is that the majority of the enterprise financial statements will be issued. we hope in december and we hope the annual financial report will be issued in january. the auditors then management findings regarding those portrayals somewhat but i hope we will have financial audited financial statements flowing out on that schedule as well. >> chair: those are a few months later than usual, right? but not anything that runs up against a deadlinethat's problematic .
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we think it was a highly unusual last year and a half but are we lookingat ? >> are general has been that the enterprise financial statements are october and november timeline timelines and if you were to look at our history the annual report would be issued in the november and december horizon. that's been complicated during this period given the staff and resources to otheractivities . given the complexity created by these new federal revenue streams that we're learningto live with and the changing rules that account for them . unfortunately in the coming fiscal year just to be transparent with the committee we also have this major new implementation of anew accounting standard for the subsequent fiscal year next year regarding leases as louis
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mentioned . so i'm hopeful we will continue to make improvements and pull back towards that historic mark but this year and probably next will take a bit longer than normal. >> chair: thank you for providing that additional detail and thank you controller rosenfield and your team for staying, keeping us on the committee and board up-to-date as the stakes have been evolving pretty rapidly in terms of the various rules we are all operating under. unless there are other questions or comments right now from committee members mister clark , let's go ahead and open up public comment. >> for those watching on cable channel 26 or by streaming link to, if you wish to speak on this matter pleasecall in by following the
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instructions displayed on your screen . you would dial 415 655 0001 and enter the meeting id of 247647 8686 in order to join the meeting. following that you would press the pound symbol twice and star followed by three to speak and for any that are on hold continue to wait. you will hear a prompt line has been unmuted. just a moment while i check the department of technology is informing we have no colors in the queue for agenda item number four. [please stand by]
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together. 5 and 6. >> item 5 is hearing on prioritizing criminal trials and safely opening courtrooms to ensure speedy trial rights of both defendants and victims are upheld and to address back recognize of 437 felony cases and 248 untried defendants. and item 6 is resolution urging the san francisco superior court
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to prioritize soiment of criminal trials and open more courtrooms to ensure that trial rights of both defendants and victims are up held. public comment is number 1-415-655-0001. the meeting i.d. is 2497 647 8686 ##. press star followed by the number 3 to indicate that you'd like to speak on this item. and then await a prompt that information you that your line has been unmuted. mr. chair? >> chair: thank you, mr. clerk. and supervisor ronen will be taking the lead on this item today. before i hand it over to supervisor ronen, i just want to welcome the representatives. i know we have a number of folks, representatives from the public defenders office,
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district attorney's office, sheriffs as well and a reminder that the presenters have 10 minutes each. and i really want to thank you, supervisor ronen for your leadership on this very important issue. looking forward to this hearing and discussion today. so i'm turning it over to you, supervisor ronen. >> thank you so much, chair preston. i also wanted to not only thank the public defender and district attorney's office for being here with us today, but for all of their ongoing leadership on this issue. i know the public defender has sued the courts in order to make sure that their clients have their right to a speedy trial. and i know that the d.a. has also been advocating to reopen
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the courts. i also just want to note before i make some opening comments that my office personally reached out to the chief judge asking them to participate in this hearing today. and very disappointed that judge feng rejected the invitation. i would think that as a matter of courtesy to different branches of government, but also to explain to us, you know, if the courts aren't open already, why is that? and is there any way that the city and the courts can work together to speed up this process? unfortunately, we're not going to get those questions answered today. it's incredible disappointment on my part and i wanted to just put those comments on the record. but let me make some opening comments. colleagues, today we will be hearing about how the san
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francisco superior court has been dealing with a backlog of 451 criminal cases, with 218 people in custody pretrial. i am also asking the committee to vote on a resolution urging the san francisco superior court to prioritize trials and uphold justice. our san francisco criminal justice system is broken. over the past 21 months, our courts have failed to adhere to one of our most constitutional rights, that's a swift and fair justice. every single person has a right to a speedy trial. during this time, the court has cited the pandemic as a reason to continue cases and keep people in custody. in san francisco with the rise in vaccination rates and the easing of restrictions such as social distancing and indoor activities, the court cannot use this excuse to continue cases.
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continuing cases under the facade of good cause when none exists has detrimental effects on victims and defendants alike. allowing a person to be caged for an extended period when they have not been convicted of a crime is contradictory to one of our nation's most basic principles, that's a person is innocent unless and until the government proves the case against them beyond a reasonable doubt. currently, over 200 people are sitting in jail awaiting trial. victims also have a right to a speedy trial under marcy's law. witness, memories fade, evidence can be lost and the victim may continue to experience emotional distress due to a lack of closure from their case. people in jail suffer. victims suffer. families suffer. and everyone continues to lose faith in the criminal justice system when justice is delayed. in san francisco people are coming to city hall, attending holiday parties, getting
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haircuts, going to bars and slowly returning to some sense of normalcy, yet people who have exercised their right to a speedy trial have been told to wait. the court has been dragging its feet to deal with this backlog. it is my understanding that the civic center courthouse is being used to conduct civil trials, while pretrial defendants languish in jail. this is completely unacceptable. the civic center courthouse has held both in and out of custody cases. until the backlog has been dealt with, the civic center courthouse should put a hold on sending any civil cases to trial. they must utilize the departments they have exclusively for criminal trials. there is no reason this many people, over 200 people, should
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be awaiting justice, accused persons and victims alike. we need to find adequate solutions to deal with this backlog and i don't want to just complain here. i want to partner with the courts to problem-solve. unfortunately, as i said earlier, the courts are not here today to do that brainstorming with us, which is incredibly unfortunate. i also want to thank the sheriffs department who have graciously made themselves available to be here today to answer any questions. first i wanted to see if my colleagues have any open remarks and then we will have presentations starting with the public defenders office, with a few members of the office that are going to present. and then we will hear from marshall klein from the district attorney's office. colleagues, did you have any
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remarks before we hear presentations? >> supervisor chan: thank you, chair preston. and i thank you, supervisor ronen. i just want to express my thanks to your leadership in calling attention to this very important matter. i think with the holdup and not having our courts open to the people and it's the justice not just for those who deserve the due process, but also the victims of crimes and just many other matters that really waiting for the courts to decide. it creates a lot of hardship on people. so thank you so much, supervisor ronen, for calling this hearing. >> chair: thank you, supervisor chan. i just had a question,
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supervisor ronen, to share your concern around the absence of a representative from the court. were you provided any explanation from the superior court on why they did not have a representative here today? >> supervisor ronen: i'm sorry, i've been behind because i've been out for a while. can i get back to you on that? >> chair: absolutely. it's concerning to me as you stated that they obviously have quite a bit of firsthand information around their courtrooms and how they administer the courthouse. but, yeah, anytime. >> supervisor ronen: i will get back to you, but the main reason i do know is that they're claiming that they want to remain silent because of the lawsuit and don't want to put the lawsuit in any jeopardy. i don't -- i don't understand that questioning -- or that response brainstorming with the city about how to join forces to get the resources to open up
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more spaces for trials? i don't see how that would jeopardize the lawsuit. and the bottom line is that it's the responsibility of the courts to uphold the constitutional rights of defendants and victims and they're failing to do that. so, you know, again, i'm incredibly disappointed. i even looked into subpoenaing the chief judge. it looks like there is separation of powers' issue and that might be impossible, but i was ready to go to those lengths, because i believe this issue is this urgent and this serious that perhaps we should set a precedent and subpoena the chief judge. so, you know, i'm in dialogue with the city attorney's office about that at the moment. in the meantime, i didn't want to delay this hearing, because,
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you know, the public defender and the district attorney have been advocating quite a lot on this issue and have a lot of information to share with us and ideas that perhaps we can pursue with both offices. again, it's a shame the court isn't here. >> chair: thank you, supervisor ronen, for the additional detail. let me just say that i share that frustration. i think it would enrich the conversation. i'm sure that we'll hear from the various presenters and be able to get to the bottom of a lot of this, but, of course, there are always separation of power issues potentially when there are specific questions or actions that a board is taking with respect to judicial branch. and, of course, it would not be the first time, nor would it be the last where there is ongoing litigation of some kind that someone comes before the board in our oversight and
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information-gathering role and -- and there may be specific questions that can't be answered because of pending litigation done from my perspective not having the court here. so i appreciate you moving forward despite that, but just wanted to make clear on the record that i share your frustration on that front and really would urge the superior court to have a representative present in any future discussions that we have at the board on this issue. thank you. supervisor? >> supervisor ronen: thank you so much for that, chair preston. i would also just say one other thing. again, i want to know what we have -- my colleagues to know what we have tried to do to get the superior court here, because, you know, as we all know, partially because the courts are shut down, this takes
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a long time to resolve. meanwhile there are over 200 people waiting for their right to a speedy trial that might be innocent that are languishing in jail that have lost their jobs, perhaps lost their homes. all the consequences of being in jail, not to mention the stress and emotional harm on victims. but i looked into the funding that the city and county provides to the courts. is there a way of withholding that funding until the courts at least have a dialogue with us about how to fix this issue? and, unfortunately, the little funding that the city gives to the courts mostly goes to the bar association for indigent defense. so we certainly didn't want to withhold that money, but i will
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continue to look for leverage and continue not only to speak out about this and hold hearings, but to use any power we have in our arsenal to push this issue, because i believe it's that urgent. and with that, i want to turn over the floor to the chief attorney in the public defender office, public defender matt gonzales. >> thank you, supervisor ronen, chair preston, supervisor chan. we're all very grateful you're conducting this hearing and bringing attention to this important matter. kathleen, the head of our research unit is going to be leading the presentation on behalf of the public defender office. i'll be available throughout the hearing and i'll turn it over to kathleen now. she's joining us from the east
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coast by the way. thank you. >> thank you, matt, and thank you to all of you and supervisor ronen. and appreciate the opportunity to talk to all of you about this really important topic. and i'm going to echo a lot of supervisor ronen's comments. the san francisco criminal legal system is currently in a state of crisis. there is a literally humanitarian crisis occurring in our backyard and there are laws that i want to talk about that are not being followed. one is penal code section 1050a that says criminal trials are prioritized over civil trials. that makes good sense because liberty is more important than money. and then there is the state statute on speedy trial, penal code 1382, which provides that someone has a right to a speedy trial if charged with a felony
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within 60 days or a misdemeanor. that right is important because it protects individuals. unfortunately, those rights no longer meaningfully exist for san francisco residents. and if you had told me, right now if you're charged with a crime in san francisco and it's a felony, and you're incarcerated, you could wait, on average, about eight months before you get your speedy trial. you know, if you told me two years ago there were violations of the speedy trial law, you know, one or two or three, i would have said that is outrageous and it would have been a story. can you turn the slide please, larry. but now we have a literal humanitarian crisis. i mean, there are 451 people that are waiting past the deadline that i just told you about. past the legal statutory deadline. 218 of those folks are incarcerated in custody under
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covid, which is extremely oppressive conditions of confinement. and some of those folks have waited almost a year past their trial deadlines. this is -- what is happening today is madness. and, you know, incredibly, the backlog is actually getting worse. the san francisco superior court officially reopened at the end of june of this year. so the court is reopened, fully reopened, but since then, the backlog of cases has grown from 416 to 451 today. the number of people incarcerated past the legal deadline has grown from 125 now to 218. which is basically an 80% increase. if this were plotted on the grass, the way this is going, the grass would be pointing straight to the sky in terms of the sky. if we don't do something, the backlog will never be cleared. what is happening today in san
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francisco's criminal courts is extraordinary and unprecedented. and it risks an epic decimation of our clients' fundamental rights. we're very sympathetic to the fact that covid has upended everything and the superior court has had to make adjustments. and we're appreciative of the fact that they were able to reopen and conduct trials and put a priority on that. but it's important to protect everybody from the virus, but we can't lose the rule of law in the process. covid has been with us for 20 months. government agencies, hospitals, businesses and superior courts in other counties have figured out a way to resume public services and return business as usual. other counties, the backlog is actually going down. the pandemic can't become a permanent excuse to justify people waiting in jail for months past the deadline for trial.
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and, you know, the failure doesn't exist in a vacuum. i mean the statistics are shocking. san francisco's population is 5.6% black, but the number of people incarcerated past their last day of that group, more than 50% report african-americans and these numbers should be shocking. if this disparity reflects as it does, race and class oppression in our country, the fact to afford the most vulnerable of our community a speedy trial should give us all pause. and, of course, there is a human cost to this as well. you know, 200 people is a shocking statistic, but behind that statistic are 200 stories. you know, our clients who are legally innocent and presumed innocent tell us, you know, that they're locked in their cell.
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they write -- one of them suffers from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, says he's locked in the cell 23 hours a day and sometimes he feels like he's going insane and talks to himself. the only time he gets to use the shower or phone, is 30 minutes. sometimes i have to choose because we don't have time to do both. the effects of this delay -- of course, the effect of this lengthy pretrial incarceration that during covid involved many of our clients confined to their cells 23 hours a day are as terrible as they are predictable. people become hopeless and sad and some people want to plead guilty. we know that innocent people plead guilty in order to get out of jail, but can you imagine how
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our clients feel, when we tell them, we'll fight your case and we can't tell them it will be in 60 days. we can't tell them when it will be. it's been eight months, sometimes a year. can you imagine how hopeless they feel then? you don't have to imagine, this has been our clients' experience for the last 20 months. so what can we do about this? well, fortunately, you know, this problem actually is solvable. you know, the cases where there has been a speedy trial violation should be dismissed. but one of the real reasons for this current crisis is that the court has declined to use available civil courtrooms for criminal cases. and, you know, many -- the criminal proceedings in san francisco generally take place in the hall of justice, but the court has sent out criminal trials to the civic center
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courthouse and that courthouse has 12 trial departments that are currently -- some currently lying unused at all. some trying civil cases where money is at stake and all of which could be used and repurposed for criminal trials. and that's really a key part of any workable strategy to reduce the backlog of criminal cases, is reassigning civil courtrooms to criminal matters. the superior court reassigned all the general civil departments to hear criminal cases and that was part of the one of the factors in alleviating the backlog. another key factor is the use of alternative venues. public buildings like the war memorial building could be used for spillover cases or for civil proceedings, so that the civil proceedings can still occur when all the civil departments or general civil departments are
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used for criminal cases. that's what they did in riverside. they used an elementary school. we could do that here, too. san francisco has many public buildings that could be used for this purpose. and, you know, the convention center, the civic auditorium, the war memorial building, however, since march of 2020, the court has not held any sessions in alternative venues. should tell you in the interest of fairness that the court told us, that they claimed they explored looking for alternative and additional sites, but those explorations were not fruitful. >> supervisor ronen: can i just interrupt there for a sec. nobody to -- from the court system to my knowledge has explored the possibility with any member of the board of
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supervisors. i'm not sure if they've gone to the mayor, but that's the reason we're here. we're saying we want to actively work with you to solve this problem. in addition to the war memorial building, there is city hall. we used to have active courtrooms in city hall. the sheriff department is here in this building and there is security at the entrance. you know, this is something that we would jump at the chance of helping to make happen if anyone would actually respond to us and work with us on it. so i am publicly making that offer today. myself and i think i can probably speak for my colleagues on this committee, supervisors preston and chan, would be happy to work with building management, to work with our sheriffs department and figure out an arrangement. we are not using our committee rooms right now, for example,
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because we are still -- i'm at home doing this hearing. supervisor preston and chan are in their offices. we're not in the committee room, because we have not yet invited the public back. we're in the process of figuring that out. so there is a ton of rooms in city hall that could be used right now. part of the reason that we're holding this hearing today is to scream out loud there are people that want to help and see this as a humanitarian crisis, please, courts, step up and work with us to figure this out. it's not rocket science. >> i think those are all great ideas. and they -- i believe that the court only looked into this at the beginning of the pandemic. i think that it was maybe in june of 2020 and we certainly asked them again in october of 2020. we did a judicial records request for any documents that supported the search and they didn't provide any responsive documents in writing and said
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there were no responsive documents in writing substantiating the nature of the search, because we too were puzzled by why these public buildings that were totally unoccupied during shelter-in-place and still available as you point out, were not being used at a minimum for some of the civil proceedings so we could use the civic center courthouse, but also some criminal proceedings, particularly given there are courtrooms. so, yes, you know, that's -- i think that's a terrific idea. next slide, please. so, the other thing i just wanted to point out because it's something that the court has said as a reason that this sort of -- that it's not possible, they have claimed that the civic center courthouse is not secure enough to hold criminal trials. and that claim is contradicted by the court's own records which show that it has safely tried
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many serious cases in the civic center courthouse, where departments were in custody and -- defendants were in custody and facing life in prison. so very serious case. since 2006, the court has sent 56 felony cases to the civic center courthouse between -- and during that period, half of those folks that were sent there, the defendants were in custody. and nearly most of them were tried to verdict. so it's certainly possible and it's historically happened. in july of 2012, the court closed. two trial departments at the hall of justice. they sent those -- they dedicated two replacement courthouses to the civic center to hear criminal trials. the most recent example was in 2021. there was a juvenile in custody murder trial, which is in front of a judge, not a jury. but there were so many concerns about security that it was moved
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from the juvenile justice center to the civic center courthouse and held there. and that was the sheriff office provided security for about 15 days of the trial and according to the court did a good job providing security. >> sorry to interrupt, that is the 10-minute bell. >> okay. >> chair: why don't you go ahead and if you need a couple more minutes to wrap up the presentation. >> sure. just in sum, i'll just say that it is possible, i'm encouraged by the idea that covid has taught us anything, we can work creatively at these issues. the last two years have certainly upended our legal system, but the bottom line is what is happening at 850 bryant is outrageous. the idea in san francisco we cage hundreds of members of our community for a year as they await a speedy trial, just makes a mockery of the term. and it makes a mockery of the
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fundamental rights that we hold dear and the presumption of innocence. and history is going to judge. we think the answer is to follow the law and enforce the speedy trial statute, prioritize the cases, and return to honoring the fundamental rights of people in san francisco to a speedy trial by jury. [please stand by] [please stand by]
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>> since i knew him, he asserted his innocence. at no point did we ever waive any of his rights. robert was arrested for murder. this happened in august of 2020. he spent 259 actual days in custody. when we finally got into a trial courtroom, we had a jury verdict in less than two hours. he was found not guilty in two hours. he was released from jail a couple hours later. that was in may.
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robert is a family man. he lived and cared for his disabled mom. he did so every day. he financially cared for her, too. worked as a tree cutter in california preventing fires. he also has three younger siblings. while incarcerated, his 10-year-old sister had spinal surgery and was not age to be there for her. his dad had to take a month off work to take care of her. his dad did what he can to send money to robert in custody. while still awaiting for trial, his family had a lot of issues. they needed robert. he has a younger brother 20, a
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brother 8. they had emotional issues not having their brother who was like a father figure as well to his younger brothers. his parents worked a lot growing up. while incarcerated one of his best friends from childhood died of seizure. his family didn't want me to tell robert because they were afraid that was going to mess him up even more emotionally and mentality. him not being there for his family and friends for those things was very difficult for him. while incarcerated for 259 days, he gained 85 pounds. he went from 155 pounds first arrested in august of 2020. when he was released in may of this year he was 250 pounds.
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he was on 23 to 24 hour lockdown where he sometimes was unable to even bathe before coming to court, before seeing jurors in a murder trial. robert asserted his innocence when i met him when he was arraigned. we went on a city preliminary hearing. we wanted a city trial and should have went to trial before december 15th. that is even counting the emergency covid orders. that extended some of the time limits. we did not go to trial. he spent 259 days in custody.
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the district attorney evidence was only two days long, less than two days long. the jury got the case. it was two hours of deliberation before they said he was not guilty. then i because his family is from another county. he is from another county. i picked him up from jail. i am going to show you when that happened. >> is that all your food? what is this? holy cow. >> thank you, thank you, thank you. you are amazing. >> we are going to kick it until we get it. >> yes.
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>> after only two hours of deliberation after waiting eight months. after asserting his innocence, he was finally released from jail. immediately after release, he was very serious about getting a job. he started working for another tree company that cut trees so the powerlines and things would not cause fires. in fact, weeks after being released, he sent me a video. they had him fight a fire so he actually fight the monument and cal door fires through this job. he texted me that it feels so good to be outside in nature physically helping people and seeing beautiful places. robert is a beautiful soul.
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i got to know him and his family very well. everything that affected his family from being incarcerated when he should not have been. we filed bail motion. he was charged with something serious. knowing the evidence, he still had to wait eight months. the next photo that i am showing you. this is robert two weeks ago. he was watching movies with his grandfather. his grandpa got diagnosed with cancer earlier this year. in custody for 259 actual days, he missed a lot of precious time. now that is what he does. he is now currently with his grandfather every dataing care of him -- taking care of him.
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his grandfather had surgery last week. i urge all of you to imagine spending over eight months in jail. when you finally get your day in court, the da only presents two hours of evidence, the jury only deliberates for two hours, you are acquitted. you get out. this is why the right to a speedy trial exists. in san francisco, they failed robert and his family. thank you. >> thank you so much. this is just unbelievable. i just want to sum this up briefly. robert spent 259 days in jail as
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an innocent man. missing death of his best friend, not being able to take care of his grandfather puhas terminal cancer because the court can't find enough creativity to find a space to hold the trial. this is mind-boggling. all we have to do to fix this problem. imagine if every problem was this easy to fix. find a space to hold the trial. that is all we need to do. in a city with a $13 billion budget and more beautiful huge government buildings guarded by the sheriff's office than perhaps anywhere in the state. this doesn't make any sense. it doesn't make any sense. my challenge to the judge and the entire court system is 20
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months is not only outrageous. it is embarrassing. a bunch of lawyers who have become judges can get in a room and figure out how to find some space to uphold the constitutional rights of san francisco residents and families and everyone involved in the case. this is outrageous. we need to fix it now. thank you. i am angry incation you can't be tell -- in case you can't tell. next if you don't have questions. we will hear from marshall klein, managing attorney at the district attorney's office. >> good afternoon, committee, great to see you, supervisor chan. thank you. audit and oversight committee
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members. thank you, supervisor ronan for facilitating this hearing. i am the chief assistant district attorney. i have worked here for almost 23 years. covid-19 has imposed hardships for the operations of the criminal justice system for everyone involved. i am here to share our perspective of the impacts of the felony trial backlog. i will talk about our efforts to talk about individuals rating in custody. we waited the lockdown and restrictions would create a backlog. heeding warnings from public health officials we recognized that. allowing the jails to become incubators for covid infections. using data and advice from
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experts, we aggressively implemented policies to reduce jail population to the level recommended by jail health services medical director. this reduced jail population to 700. half the population from years earlier. the majority in custody at this point are facing some very serious charges and have many offenses pending. while the jail population has declined. violent crime rates are below historical averages. this collaboration with the court and bar and sheriff to keep infection rates remarkably low. we worked together to avoid major outbreak like other facilities nationwide. we struggle with billed up of cases by shut downs and restrictions. we have fewer in custody and
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less cases presented to the office less cases filed in pre-pandemic. we do have a far greater proportion of cases on a no time waiver status. a charged individual has asserted statutory right to speedy trial. for felony that is to commence trial within 60 days of arraignment on the information. that is the name of the charging document after the court certifies the charges at preliminary hearing. the court may go beyond that day. with many cases we are past 60th day based on good cause finding related to the pandemic. for 15 months the courts were under social distancing and only able to be open within state and local guidelines an the the end of june this year. the directive has hampered the conducting of jury trials with
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over 100 people in confined spaces for many hours with poor ventilation in an old courthouse. we invite exploration to conduct the trials. to be fair over the past five months court engaged to expedite trials. prioritizing custody cases, consistent with code 1048. in order of oldest last day and courtrooms at civic center for nonviolent be misdemeanor trials reduced backlog 130 cases over the past five months. it is progress. the figures are constantly changing. daily settlements, continuances and trials. this past month the court cleared a year of backlog since the start of the pandemic.
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the progress is hopeful. in addition the court shut down restriction flowing the ability to facilitate trials and factors should be considered about the build-up no time waiver cases. proportion of cases where they speak a speedy trial increased in six month spans in 2019 before pandemic defendants asserted 60% speedy trial. now it is 90% seeking speedy trial. they are out of custody which competes within custody defendants for courtroom resources. delaying a case usually benefits the charged individual if they are facing serious charges or out of custody. also the entire criminal justice system relies on pre-trial settlements to resolve much of the caseload. no court or office is to go to trial on all of the filed cases
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otherwise we would see massive increases in courtroom and staffing for offices. during the pandemic district attorney has proactively worked to settle cases by applying tools to assess risks and offers. our rate of settlement dropped from prepandemic time. it has impaired our ability. >> sorry to interrupt you. i am confused. in the purpose of this hearing is to talk about the backlog in cases in the court, not whether or not an individual defendant chooses to settle or go to court. that is the right of the defendant to choose. i am not interested if defendants decide to go to trial more often. that has nothing to do with the purpose of this hearing. i am confused why you are talking to that. the topic of the hearing is there are a backlog of cases,
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200 people sitting on average six months to a year in jail when they have asserted right to speedy trial at not getting it. i don't understand the information is beside the point. >> i agree with you. every defendant has the right to assert whenever rights available to them by statute and the constitution. i am rounding out the conversation to explain the background for some of the build-up as well. i will move on to how the build-up impairs our ability to effectively serve the interest of the victim. it is essential in the interest of every prosecutor to avoids unnecessary delays. the aging cases weaken prosecution and takes toll on the victims and survivors they want and need resolution to help
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through grief. stops and starts and continuances is very costly involve time off work, child care and traveling multiple times to san francisco to attend court. long delays deprive victims of the justice they deserve. it forces us to reduce cases we must dismiss cases. we rely on witnesses. over time witnesses lose interest, become uncooperative and move to distant places and become unavailable and sometimes die. the build-up of cases created a backlog and huge workload burden for u.s. at district attorney's office. attorneys have huge caseloads. another area of workload for us without additional resources.
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we have to defend many motions to dismiss and this is a huge litigation burden that did not exist prepandemic. i would point out some of the administrative challenges persist for us to meet the city and county early requirements of reducing density. we have to change many processes to digital overnight with little planning to rely on. these paperless processes created problems without sufficient parallel support. previously we relied on fixed set date for trials. trials now have moving trial dates when courtrooms are available, cases are advanced. that creates a significant challenge for us when trial dates move this presents difficulties for us to constantly rearrange the
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schedule for many witnesses inconveniencing many. trail on the trial calendar the number of witnesses multiplied many fold. witnesses are apprehensive coming to court during the pandemic with large indoor gathering of people. others don't want the risk. managing all of these witnesses, fears, frustrations daily to ensure trial readiness is a challenge when unlike other counties we don't have a witness coordinator. for these reasons we continue to work hard to be trial ready this really highlights our need for additional staffing which would improve our ability to serve and benefit every agency in the system. we look forward to tipping work with justice and health partners to advance cases to resolution safely while we explore strategies to alleviate the backlog of cases.
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we must consider the new covid variant on the horizon and the impact on future function. this compels us to be part of this conversation. we need to ensure continued manage jail population by creating transition for low level unhoused individuals with substance abuse or mental health issues and residential treatment options to ensure we can cycle individuals out of custody safely and responsibly. i would conclude by saying the district attorney is committed to finding ways to make the system fair and keep the public safe. thank you for asking awareness on this important issue. >> quick question. has the da office had any meetings with the court about this issue and to brainstorm ways to address it?
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>> we continually meet at a justice partner's meeting where all of the agencies and partners involved are in a collaborative meeting. we don't meet ex-parte with the court about these issues. we meet with the invitation to the public defender and sheriff and to probation. the conversation is inconclusive of all parties involved. >> has there been a conversation in that forum to use all available courtrooms for criminal trials? what has the court said? >> the security issue at the civic center court house is the same answer we have heard the public defender that represented. i would point out as i did that the court did open up and dedicate a number of courtrooms at the civic center court house
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for nonviolent misdemeanors which did assist with clearing a significant number of misdemeanor cases off the backlog. that is the same explanation we heard. >> asking the public defender's office is that the only explanation you heard or were there any other explanations? >> for not using the civic center court house? >> no, they made this claim of security which falls on deaf ears. we looked at the data to find out how many cases. they assigned over 150 misdemeanor trials between 2018 and right before the pandemic hit without regard to the arbitrary classification. we are concerned about our clients who are incarcerated waiting for nearly a year for their trial and their acquittal.
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we think the court needs to do more than just nonviolent misdemeanors. there are only three that are trials at the civic center court house. we have heard the same thing. it doesn't ring true with our experience. >> i would just add. in fairness to the court. and i am not going to be able to articulate it the way they would because i don't subscribe to their reasoning, but they have put out a fundamental idea when they send a case to trial if the case resolves that somehow that is a failure on the part of the parties or something like that. that we shouldn't have been ready to go to trial because now the keys is settled or there may
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be a need for postponement. sometimes last minute discovery provided or new information or you might have expert wit unavailability because you are waiting for months to get to trial. however, what we try to explain both prior to covid and essential now, it is one of the realities of the way cases work at the hall of justice. you prepare for trial and in the last moment when the parties know the very most about a case, you have last comment negotiations that might be able to resolve a matter. it might be suddenly go from life in prison case to misdemeanor offer offer dismissal or whatever it might be. these things actually happen. that is not failure of the system. that is the way the system works the entire time i have been practicing law. what we have been urging the courts to do. when they send a matter to trial
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if it resolves for some reason they should say, great, and send the next one in the queue to the courtroom available. the other one just settled. that is a real disconnect between the way we perceive the system and the way the courts have been looking at the situation. somehow something has gone wrong in their opinion if the matter settles at the last comment. on the contrary we have oneless case to worry about in the backlog. >> thank you for that. that doesn't make much sense to me. i wonder if we could call up the representatives from the sheriff's department. >> good afternoon chief kevin
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mcconnell. just left cod. custody division now, i am in charge of transportation and security in the courts. >> thank you so much for being here, sheriff mcconnell. i want your perspective on this issue whether or not it would be safe to hold criminal trials of in custody or out of custody nonviolent or violent crimes charged, whether or not it would be safe to hold these types of trial in the civic center court house. >> ma'am, we have done threat assessments in the past. the civic center courthouse was never set up for criminal trials. it was set up as civil trials. we only have three holding cells there to two social distance
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during the pandemic. a lot of stairwells have access to the streets. everything could be overcome. some of the individuals and upgrade that would have to be accomplished quickly would be alarm system, panic system like we have in the justice courts and self-locking doors. i don't know if you are familiar. if something was to go wrong or justice involved individual did try this case there are things to be done to automatically secure the doors. if it was to be held at the civic center court house, this is not superior court we sent 12 trials all nonviolent misdemeanors this year. we do have out of custody trials there because at the time if there is a decision by the court
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that the individual has to be remanded to custody we have three holding cells to transport them to the county jail for booking. currently, we do have assessments on hand what needs to be done to bring this up. i am not saying it couldn't be accomplished. there were large increases in staffing to ensure the security of that building. there is also rent legislation title 15 and 24 that deal with how we can hold individuals while they are in courts. we can't staff them or stage them on buses or anything like that. it is inhumane. we don't have bathrooms, things like that. of course, if our court partners decide to make this, we would have to reese to the challenge. -- rise to the challenge.
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we are challenged by staffing. we are currently through the courts 64% of staffing. current currently down 13 staff members. [please stand by]
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>> when was it done? >> the last assessment we did was in 2014. >> okay. so prior to the covid pandemic. >> prior to the pandemic. >> supervisor ronen: has the court been in discussions with the sheriffs department on what it would take to implement that plan? >> no ma'am. it's nothing more than what we would need to secure a building. >> supervisor ronen: as far as you know and i know that sheriff hennessey isn't here, as far as you know, there has been no official discussions about whether or not your plans for
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making the civic center courthouse space for criminal trials in custody could be implemented or should be implemented? >> no, ma'am, there has not been. >> supervisor ronen: that's incredibly frustrating. can you send that assessment to the members of this committee? >> yes, ma'am, i can. i will send it to the sheriff and have them send it to you. we did update what we see. based on that, these are the quick bullet points. that would probably be a better document for you to review. >> supervisor ronen: okay. >> and i can send it to the sheriff and then have him forward it off to everybody. >> supervisor ronen: that would be very helpful. if there was a decision to implement the assessment -- the changes that you suggest, how much time do you think that
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would take? >> i would not want to make a guess at the infrastructure enhancements that would have to take place. some things that would have to happen, too, in all of this, is the underground parking for the civic center, would probably have to be eliminated for a while. we have to shut down one street as far as the staffing as we're all aware, i do not think we have the staffing on hand to do it. and then the recruitment, training and then placement of staff would probably take about eight months, ma'am. >> supervisor ronen: okay. well, i would love to sit down with the public defenders' office, the district attorney's office, the sheriffs department and look at this assessment and see what we could do to speed it up, implement it, et cetera. of course, if the court decides
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that it can spend some time and energy on this as it should and has not done so far, so -- really appreciate that and looking forward to receiving that assessment and thanks for being here today, sheriff mcconnell. any other questions for sheriff mcconnell? >> yeah, thank you. this was not specifically for mr. mcconnell. but just a couple comments and thoughts. first and, you know, this is many ways beyond the scope of this hearing. i just want to note that while we're talking about staffing issues, i understand there are personnel issues and cost issues, but i'm having a bit of a moment here with trying to reconcile the fact that we have proposals before the board of supervisors we are about to vote
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on on whether we should be authorizing sheriffs to use extra time to staff walgreens and other places against retail theft, as advanced by some of my colleagues on the board, and yet we are thinking it would take eight months to get to a point where if the resources were there, that we could staff the courthouse to be used for criminal trials. that's not the criticism of sheriff mcconnell or the comments, it's just looking at those two things next to each other, i just think in terms of the statements of our priorities, you know, if there are additional staffing needs, you know, regarding the, you know, sheriffs being hired by other departments or entities would seem to me this should be top of the list. and obviously, that's a call for the court and it's a call for the sheriff and beyond this
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hearing. but i did want to note that. and in the same vein i wanted to address this broader issue around courtroom availability and what is a priority and what is not a priority. you know, as you know, my specialty has been around landlord tenant cases, eviction cases. i won't to note that the speedy trial requirement is not the only place in california law where the courts prioritize something over something else. and i just find it absolutely offensive that right now we are disregarding the speedy trial rights of criminal defendants who as the public defenders' office laid out in the slides -- we're talking in san francisco -- that over 50% of the people suffering from that are african-american folks in this city. while at the same time, the courthouse doors have fully
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reopened -- fully reopened to property owners that want to kick people out of their homes, that have a statutory right to a summary proceeding. i mean think about that, right? and, of course, there are some civil summary proceedings that need to be quick, if you're seeking a temporary restraining order in domestic violence, of course, we want that expedited and moving fast through the courts, right? but we have things like ellis act eviction, like literally would have no impact to wait six months more to set those -- those things get set on three-weeks notice for trial from when the answer is provided. i have not heard of the judicial council. i have not heard of anyone proposing that until we meet our speedy trial rights of criminal
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defendants, that we suspend at a state level some of those existing priorities that streamline, prioritize and clog up our courtrooms with vindicating the rights of, you know, real estate speculators to kick people out of their homes. it's mind-blowing to me. especially if -- and i think your questions, supervisor ronen, some of the comments from the sheriff, so forth, highlight that it is possible to repurpose some of these civil courtrooms for use in criminal trials. and i'm sure, you know, there are different levels of staffing needed, so there is details to work out, but it's like if we can do that and we are
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continuing to prioritize cases that vindicate the rights of property owners, for example, to evict people, or business disputes between two multimillion dollar companies have a business dispute and we're going to set that for trial while the gentleman that you highlighted is kept locked up in a cage for eight months before being set free? it's just unconscionable as a statement of our priorities. so i don't know if these discussions are happening at the state level as well, but if this is an issue that extends beyond san francisco -- which i believe it does -- maybe that's a question, because i do think other jurisdictions are struggling with some of these same issues, you know, as covid continues to plague us. i guess that's my question.
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is this occurring in other jurisdictions? and is there any engagement or hope that the state judicial council would look at what else are we prioritizing here under state law if we have limited resources over the rights of mostly people of color facing criminal prosecution and being jailed for extended periods of time while they await trial? i don't know who that is a question to, but if anyone can shed light on it, that's great. >> i can answer that. at least i can try to. you're correct, it is a problem across the state. there are counties that are doing better, better than san francisco. for example, contra costa county has sent out over 150 jury trials in the same period of time and is clearing their
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backlog, they're backlog is going down, not up and they managed to do that by using courtrooms and sending cases out to courtrooms. orange county didn't have a backlog at all. they, during the pandemic, suspended civil trials and so they were able to use those resources and, so, they don't have a problem, but it is a problem across the state. l.a. superior court, which is huge, a third of the state, has a problem with the backlog. in answer to your question about the judicial council, we sent them -- when the public defender wrote them an op-ed, i think we sent a copy of the op-ed to the judicial council. i believe they're aware of the issue. riverside, they were involved. cases were getting dismissed. if the superior court is dismissing cases, they have to
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contact the judicial council and then the judicial council kind of came in, assigned out of county judges, they reassigned the courtrooms and took it seriously and cleared the backlog. and there was a tremendous amount of resources they put in it. you know, it happened. the judicial council -- i don't know whether the superior court here has had conversations with the judicial council about that or not. part of it is so far we're -- the public defender is bringing many motions to dismiss under penal code 1382, the d.a. is opposing all of those motions and so far those motions have not been granted. we're hopeful that the court of appeal or california supreme court will see it differently as we do, that the pandemic does not supply indefinite good cause to deny our clients and force them to be caged up to a year waiting for a speedy trial. but it is a problem across the
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state. >> chair: thank you. look, if the issue is simply dealing with some of the hurdles to using some of the courtrooms, you know, the civic center courthouse or other locations, that's one thing. if the issue is that those courtrooms are in use or other types of priority cases, then, to me, that suggests that we need to be really bumping this up also with the judicial council around whether some of those other priorities, if they are not imminent health or safety-type cases, are re-evaluated unless and until -- and i guess would be a call to judicial council as well as our state elected of convening that conversation. but if we can accommodate both
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and all the various things that are being prioritized right through statute on both the civil and the criminal side, that's one thing, but if we're operating from a position of scarcity in terms of courtrooms available, in terms of the personnel, the deputy sheriff and so forth, then we have a more comprehensive conversation on what we're prioritizing and i don't know, as i mentioned, some t.r.o.-type situations and maybe other select cases, i can't imagine what would be a higher priority than complying with the speedy trial rights of defendants. >> to that question, we did look into this data of whether or not the civic center was full all the time. i'd be happy to share our underlying data with the board, if you'd like to look at it. it's in declarations we filed in support of our speedy trial
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motion. but my colleague looked into it and in many cases the courtrooms are not totally full up. we're just talking about the general civil department, so not the specialty family department or anything like that. but you know they're trying, you know, asbestos stuff and not stuff that is super urgent or couldn't be moved to an alternative venue or just delayed. >> thank you. >> supervisor ronen: thank you so much. before opening up this for public comment, i wanted to thank you all for being here. i think this was a very important conversation to have today. i think there are many things to follow up on. and we will be following up with you, not only meeting with the sheriff and both of our offices to see what we can do to implement this plan, what financially it would mean, how the funds can be accessed
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perhaps, you know, facilitating meetings with the judicial council and our state representatives to look at this even more broadly than san francisco and we will continue to urge and request the court to be present. i will continue to review the board of supervisors' right to subpoena the court, if they continue to refuse to be present. and what i will say is that we're not going to let go of this issue. i want to give a very, very special thanks to nikita from my office who is formerly of the public defenders office and came into my office incensed about this issue and educated me on what was happening and has been working tirelessly on this. thank you, nikita, for all your
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excellent work on this topic. and with that, after hearing public comment, supervisor preston, i would ask that we continue the hearing to the call of the chair, as i think there is much follow-up to be done. i don't want to give any impression this issue is closed. it will only be closed when the problem is solved and ask that you forward the resolution with positive recommendation to the full board. so with that, we can open this item up for public comment. >> chair: thank you, supervisor ronen. and we can take those motions after public comment. before we go to public comment, i did not introduce chief attorney gonzalez before when he spoke, but did want to note, as we often like to when we have former supervisors coming back to the board of supervisors, thank you for being here and also i am proud to represent the
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district that mr. gonzalez represented very well for years. so i just wanted to thank you for your service, not just at the office, but as a former district 5 supervisor and board president. with that, mr. clerk, please open these items up to public comment. >> thank you, mr. chair. we're checking now to see if we have callers in the queue. for those who are watching our meeting on cable channel 26, or via streaming link or through or elsewhere, if you wish to speak on the item call in now by following the instructions on your screen. that is by dialing 1-415-655-0001. enter today's meeting i.d., which is 2497 647 8686 ##. and then press star, followed by 3 to be entered into queue to
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speak. for those already in the queue, please continue to wait until you're prompted to begin. you'll hear a prompt that informs you that your line has been unmuted. could you bring us the first caller? >> hi, my name is -- i'm a deputy public defender. i represented a person. we will call him a.p. a.p. was charged with very serious crimes and he insisted on a speedy jury trial which means the case must be brought to trial within 60 days or the case must be dismissed. his last day for trial was may 11, 2020. i filed a motion to dismiss based on violating his speedy trial rights which is denied on the good cause findings related to the pandemic.
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458 days after his last date for trial, the jury returned a verdict of not guilty on all charges. so for 458 days he had serious charges hanging over his head as a result he lost his home. i represented another person. we'll call him t.p. he was charged also with very serious crimes and he insisted on a speedy trial. his last day was october 19, 2020. after his last day, i filed a motion to dismiss based on violating his speedy trial rights which was denied based on the pandemic. on february 24, 2021, a jury was unable to reach a decision by a margin of 10-2. that means 10 people voting not
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guilty and two people not. 161 days after his last day, all charges were dismissed. he has a wife and four kids. he lost his job. he lost his home. he had to move to las vegas and spent 151 days in custody. >> his time is concluded. thank you for sharing your comments. i'm sorry to cut you off. we are recognizing a two-minute timer for each speaker. could we have the next caller, please? >> this is -- i'm an attorney at the san francisco public defenders office. i recently had the honor of representing a man acquitted of all charges, including several that were felonies. i was unable to explain to my client why a trial that should have taken place in 60 days of
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his arraignment took 17 months. 17 months with a threat hanging over his head of being thrown in jail for years. 17 months knowing he was the victim of misidentification, yet his attorney had no recourse. over those 17 months, waiting, he began to see restaurants, barber shops open, but he could not challenge the false charges against him. and he was considered one of the lucky ones, because you have to go through the experience and anguish out of custody. i have several clients in custody with no good answers. my frustration is underscored by the fact that here seemingly arbitrary titles like violent misdemeanors, when six years before these extraordinary events, the courts had no issue trying my client for a "violent misdemeanor".
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so far the only answer i have for my clients is i have no good answers for why more efforts haven't been made on their behalf. thank you. >> thank you for sharing your comments. next speaker, please. >> hi, yes, this is eric, i'm also a public defender. and i really appreciate all the stats earlier, but i think the human element is really crucial and, unfortunately, i'm seeing a common cycle with my clients when i explain to them that i don't have an answer for how long they're going to have to wait for their trial. it starts off as denial, panic and despair. i'm worried about the lingering trauma that will follow these people. this is a new level of cruelty, this uncertainty, and it's time for creative solutions, so thank you for taking on this issue. >> thank you so much for sharing
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your comments. could we have the next caller, please? >> good afternoon, everyone. my name is christopher. i'm public defender. and the trial rotation, i represent a lot of the folks that are currently in jail waiting for their day in court. it's really hard to understand why we aren't dedicating every resource possible towards criminal trials, especially in the civic center courthouse. considering all of these drastic negative effects on my clients and every other defendant in the criminal justice system. in this line of work, it's one of the most important parts of it to me is earning our client's trust. and helping to show them that you're really going to fight for them. and three words that i hate to
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tell my clients are i don't know. i hated saying that before the pandemic and i hate it even more now. i find myself saying that more and more now given all of this uncertainty. i don't know. i have to tell them i don't know when you can have your trial. i just don't. i don't know when you're going to be released from jail. i don't know when you can go back to work. i don't know what to tell your landlord when they ask the next time you can pay rent is? i don't know what to tell your mom when she calls crying when she can have you back? i have to say i don't know too many times. and i think it's important to understand some behind-the-scenes conversations we have to have with our clients that have a really concerning impact with the situation it's in right now with the trials. and that is because of all of this uncertainty, clients are in a situation where they are
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forced to plead guilty or where they feel forced to plead guilty even if they have a strong defense, just because they want to get out of jail. they've told me -- [bell ringing] >> thank you for sharing your comments. could we have the next caller, please? >> good afternoon, my name is herman holland, i'm a public defender. i've been with the office 11 and a half years. i wanted to touch on the notion that the civic center court cannot accommodate the violent trials, that's just simply not true. i personally have tried incustody trials in the civic courthouse. i've personally tried violent trials. i'm confused by whatever proposal or meeting may have happened or findings that may have happened in 2014. the voluntary manslaughter trial that i tried at the civic center
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courthouse and department, 505, was in 2016, so that's just a representation that is simply not true. we have to open that courthouse. we have to start accommodating these criminal trials. imagine having to tell your client you can't tell them when their trial is going to be. these are people that may have to choose between their right to a trial and keeping their apartment, maintaining their relationship, you know, seeing their children, it's simply unfair. the fact that we're using these spaces for civil litigation, it's wrong. the fact that other counties, other jurisdictions are doing 10 times the trials that we're doing right now is wrong. we should be embarrassed that that's the state of things in san francisco and something has to be done. thank you very much. >> thank you for sharing your comments. could we have the next caller, please?
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>> good afternoon. i'm gabriella, i'm a deputy public defender at the san francisco public defender office. i work in the misdemeanor unit. the designations of the courts about which cases can be heard in which courtrooms or which courthouse are arbitrary. i conducted a covid trial for a client charged with a third dui. he was facing minimum of 120 days if convicted. fortunately, my client was acquitted, however, i just completed a jury trial at 850 bryant street because i was prohibited from conducting this trial at the civic center courthouse because i was told my case qualified as a violent offense. my client was charged with throwing an uncooked egg in the air and it broke and landed on somebody. that qualified as a violent offense and could only be heard
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at 850 bryant street. my client had to wait eight months in order to have a jury trial that he decided he wanted to have. this is unreasonable. the designations mean nothing in practice. our clients should have access to the civic center courthouse. thank you. >> thank you for sharing your comments with the committees. next caller, please. >> we have no more callers in queue. oh, one caller just popped up. sorry. >> could you connect us. thank you. >> hi, good afternoon. this is julie from the bar association, i'm sorry i have a bad cold, but supervisor ronen, someone from your office did reach out to us in september. didn't hear back after that. i have one suggestion to make to you. i'm going to suggest that the supervisors meet with the sheriff and go to the civic center courthouse to find out what the problems are from the
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sheriffs' perspective. i think that -- i know from my role as the director of court programs at one of those holding cells does need to be used for our dependency court when parents are in custody, but i think that a meeting with the sheriff and understanding what -- what facilities might be available, what needs the sheriffs might have to understand when we can send cases to the civic center courthouse and when we can't. i think that would be really helpful to solving the problem. you know, we don't have the lion's share of these cases, the public defender does, but i do know that the people who are in custody awaiting trial are serving hard time. all the programs that the sheriffs department had prior to covid no longer exist. and people are in their holding cells for long periods of time. so whatever we can do to get these cases out, it's a facilities' problem. that's a big part of the problem. and if the board of supervisors is willing to invest the time
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and money into accessing more courtrooms, i'm sure the court would be sending more trials out. i wanted to add that and make that suggestion that you work with the sheriff about this civic center. thank you. >> thank you for sharing your comments. do we have any further callers in the queue? >> no new callers. >> chair: thank you. with no callers in queue, public comment on these items is now closed. and we can take the two items separately here. supervisor ronen, i don't know if you had any additional comments or questions and i see that mr. gonzalez may have a comment as well. >> supervisors, chair preston,
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we're just very appreciative of the board conducting this hearing, the public defender is very grateful. you can see the impact this is having on our clients and their families is significant. and we appreciate your help. thank you. >> chair: thank you. so, let's first do a motion on the hearing and i fully concur with -- to the call of the chair. sounds like we have some information that would be helpful that we heard from some of the presenters. it would be great to get that as well as, supervisor ronen, please let me know how our committee can be of assistance in urging the court to participate in a follow-up hearing on this item again.
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we're all sensitive to the fact there may be litigation issues, there may be other issues or interaction between the legislative body and the courts, but we also need all folks who have the information and control over the facilities and so forth to be at the table to make progress here. so if anything we can do we'd be happy to. but do you want to make a motion to continue this to the call of the chair, supervisor ronen? >> supervisor ronen: yes, i'm on this committee, i can do that. i make a motion to continue this item to the call of the chair. >> chair: clerk? >> on the motion offered by member ronen that 5 be continued to the call of the chair. >> supervisor chan: aye. >> supervisor ronen: aye. >> chair: aye. mr. chair, there are three ayes. >> chair: thank you, mr. clerk. the motion passes. and then on item 6, the
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resolution, i did want to offer a friendly amendment on the line -- let's see -- page 4, the first resolve clause there, before the word civil at line 2, to put nonurgent civil -- i guess we should add cases. so nonurgent civil cases, instead of just saying civil. i wanted to do that to clarify, there are certain types of civil cases, you know, that may have a similar level of urgency like as i mentioned t.r.o.s, seeking injunctive relief in a civil rights case, actions to compel
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landlords to make certain repairs. i'm hoping to distinguish that the vast majority of civil litigation is not in that category and i think that's what we're trying to say, the nonurgent cases should not be prioritized. >> supervisor ronen: i am in agreement with that amendment. i'm so glad we have an experienced trial. thank you, supervisor preston. >> supervisor preston: thank you, supervisor ronen. i'll move to make that amendment as stated, mr. clerk? >> clerk: on the motion to amend the resolution on page 4, line 2, to insert the words non-urbom -- nonurgent offered by chair preston. >> supervisor chan: aye. >> supervisor ronen: aye. >> chair: aye. >> clerk: there are three ayes. >> thank you.
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supervisor ronen, would you like to make a motion on the resolution as amended -- i see that supervisor chan may have a comment before then? >> supervisor chan: thank you. just would like to add myself as a co-sponsor to the resolution. >> chair: myself as well. thank you, supervisor chan. >> supervisor ronen: thanks, to both of you. yes, i would like to make a motion to forward this item to the full board with positive recommendation. >> as amended? >> supervisor ronen: as amended. >> clerk: on the motion offered by member ronen, 6 be recommended to the board of supervisors as amended. >> supervisor chan: aye. >> supervisor ronen: aye. >> chair: aye. >> mr. chair, there are three ayes. >> thank you, the motion passes. and thank you, again, supervisor ronen for all of your leadership on this. and thank you to public
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defenders office, district attorney office and sheriffs department for all being here. and we look forward to hopefully having the superior court be part of this conversation more directly when we get back to committee. thank you. mr. clerk, do we have any other business before us? >> there is no further business. >> thank you, mr. clerk. thank you, everyone. we are adjourned.
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♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ >> the san francisco playground's hitsvery dates back to 1927 when the area where the present playground and center is today was purchased by the city for $27,000. in the 1950s, the sen consider was expanded by then mayor robinson and the old gym was built. thanks to the passage of the 2008 clean and safe neighborhood parks bond, the sunset playground has undergone extensive renovation to its
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four acres of fields, courts, play grounds, community rooms, and historic gymnasium. >> here we are. 60 years and $14 million later, and we have got this beautiful, brand-new rec center completely accessible to the entire neighborhood. >> the new rec center houses multi-purpose rooms for all kinds of activities including basketball, line dancing, playing ping-pong and arts can crafts. >> you can use it for whatever you want to do, you can do it here. >> on friday, november 16, the dedication and ribbon cutting took place at the sunset playground and recreation center, celebrating its renovation. it was raining, but the rain clearly did not dampen the spirits of the dignitaries, community members and children in attendance. [cheering and applauding]
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♪♪ ♪♪ . >> clerk: thank you. [roll call] >> president: all right. welcome everybody. we will now go to our ramaytush ohlone land acknowledgement. >> thank you. the san francisco health
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commission acknowledges that we are on the unceded ancestral homeland of the ramaytush ohlone who are the original inha at that points of the san francisco peninsula. as the indigenous stewards of this land, and in accordance with their traditions, the have never ceded, lost, nor forgotten their responsibilities as the caretakers of this place, as well as for all the peoples who reside in their traditional territory. as guests, we recognize that we benefit from the living and working on that traditional homeland. >> i think that having our meeting virtually today where we focus on the general is, you know, both a reminder of the
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great work that is happening every single day at the hospital and all of the folks who work there. all of our team members, but also how much we miss being together in person and how much we all wish we could be there to share this day with you and look forward to doing that next year. but here we are, virtually. so today's meeting again will be focused mainly on the general including our d.p.h. employee recognition awards. >> commissioner: thank you. i have requested a moment of silence at the beginning of this meeting in honor of transgender awareness week and also november 20th will be the transgender day of remembrance and this has been the deadliest
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year since the beginning of tracking, you know, like the number of transpeople being murdered. this year, we jumped from last year. we had 44 and this year, it's 46. and the majority of them, of course, as you probably know are black transwomen who have been we're not forgetting all the names. [moment of silence] . >> president: thank you,
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commissioner chung for that moment of silence. >> commissioner chung: thank you. >> president bernal: today, it's our chance to give our recognition awards. and we will begin our recognition with commissioner chow. >> because the teams are so large sharing her screen as a meeting for the and she will show the names of the team members so we're able to see the names as well as hear about the teams. i wanted to make sure we were all on the same page about that. can you these go to the next page and thank you, commissioners and everyone for your patience.
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>> president bernal: thank you, secretary. >> commissioner: thank you. it's fitting that it really is h66 and 68 this unit which has persevered through every and their families impacted by covid-19 deserves this award and it's really wonderful that it's the first award of the day. the nursing staff in the excellent care they provide. by addressing the equitable impact of the pandemic on san
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francisco's latinx community and individualizing the care provided. patients have received outstanding the best team collaboration. resulting in outcomes for patients the nurse manager of the unit will now be able to enlighten us further with a few words about this outstanding
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team: thank you. >> hi. good afternoon. can everyone hear me? >> commissioner chow: yes. >> first of all, thank you to the health commission for everyone acknowledging and dedicating our clinical and nonclinical staff. i amex streamly delighted to express our acknowledgement to everyone on the team for continuing to rise to the occasion and providing the best care possible to the communities we serve here. you guys also had your own anxieties and pressures outside of work and you show up every day to every surge and you continue to provide care that's equitable, compassionate and of the highest quality. your leadership, flexibility, and your commitment to caring for our patients from all walks of life including supporting each other is amazing and inspiring to say the least. i am honored to be apart of your team.
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i feel very blessed to work with each of you and i feel like it's such a privilege to be leading with each of you during these challenges time. >> and let's give everyone a round of applause. thank you. >> president bernal: thank you. congratulations to the h66 and h68 staff. also just special words. and the chair of the san francisco general joint conference committee and is of course working closely with the doctor over at the general.
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thank you, commissioner chow. next, we'll be moving to vice president green. >> vice president green: well, thank you. it's such an honor to recognize the clinic team. the way this disease has been limited has a great deal to do with vaccines and the way you've compassionately and kindly disbursed them into our community and our patients. another key component of our organization's response to the pandemic was and continues to be the administration covid-19 vaccines. starting in january, two staff vaccination clinics have been set up in car auditorium and the 4e clinic with 850 staff vaccinated per day at each site. in total, over 14,600 vaccines have been administered to staff and 99% of the clinical and
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nonclinical staff who wanted to receive the vaccine were able to receive their first dose by january 7th teenth, a remarkable accomplishment. by the end of january, as most staff have received their first dose of vaccine, sfg rearranged the vaccine clinics to focus on patient vaccinations with a goal of 1,200 vaccinations a day. the car auditorium shifted to patient vaccinations on january 25th and an official patient vaccine site on january 20th. on august 19th, zsfg began administering a third dose to patients and staff. by this time, close to 90% of the san francisco health network staff were fully vaccinated. concerted efforts were made to reduce disparities with respect to vaccinations and the team ensured that patients were vaccinated at all points of their care on the zssg campus.
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of this was an incredible effort created from the ground up. organized and implemented with all the care and adaptability that this situation demanded and more. the coordination across departments and institutions was nothing short of phenomenal and the service to patients and public health were kept at the center of every decision. thank you so very much. >> i'm sorry. i don't have the name here. but there's someone who's going to speak on this team that's -- sorry. i don't have the name right in front of me. >> commissioner chow: alonn llan. >> thank you. can you speak up and talk about this team. >> yes. hi, my name is alonn llan. i want to thank those who have made efforts. i nominated this particular team