5:59 PM (BCN): The head of the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice has submitted his resignation to Mayor Gavin Newsom in the second high-profile administration departure announced this week.

Kevin Ryan joined Newsom’s administration about two years ago, to head the office tasked with collaborating with local law enforcement agencies and community groups to help develop public safety policy for the mayor.

Ryan was previously the U.S. attorney in San Francisco, but was among several U.S. attorneys fired by the Bush administration in 2006.

In a statement today, Newsom thanked Ryan for his service.

“His counsel and dedication were key to reducing violent crime in the city,” Newsom said.

In his resignation letter, Ryan mentioned his office’s work on Police Department reform, the search for a new police chief, the review of the city’s sanctuary ordinance and several violence prevention projects.

“I am very proud of the fact that since my tenure at MOCJ, San Francisco has become a safer city,” Ryan said, noting a dramatic reduction in homicides and other violent crimes in the past year.

Ryan’s resignation is effective Dec. 18.

On Monday, Newsom’s chief spokesman Nathan Ballard also submitted his resignation after nearly three years at the position. He will leave in February.

4:09 PM: In a piece posted at 3:03, Steve Jones sheds no tears over Ryan’s departure, saying “The Newsom Administration now appears to be in full meltdown mode, with Newsom acting bizarrely and refusing to hold announced public events or answer media inquiries.” It is hard not to think about Homer Simpson when someone says “full meltdown mode.” Perhaps Gavin just needs a doughnut?

3:34 PM: An interesting insight on Ryan from our comments*:

This is evidence of the complete mixed-bag approach soon-to-be-ex-Mayor Gavin Newsom brought to the City.

First, Ryan is a former US Attorney who basically was fired for being a jerk to his employees (he was not part of a Bush purge of Justice, as many thought). He was given the job of head of the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice even though the mayor does not run the police department and has no say in criminal justice.

Second, Ryan’s most recent experience was federal, not local.

Third, the City did not need another “law enforcement” official on top of the Police Chief, the Police Commission, the Sheriff, and the DA (not to mention that the cops hate the DA because she refused to seek the death penalty when Ofc. Isaac Espinoza was murdered).

So, Kevin Ryan’s loss is no loss to the City.

Readers, agree/disagree?

3:30 PM: Here’s the Mayor’s statement on Ryan’s departure:

I am thankful for Judge Ryan’s two years of service to the City & County of
San Francisco. His counsel and dedication were key to reducing violent
crime in the City.

During his tenure, Judge Ryan oversaw and implemented numerous reforms that
will make San Francisco a safer city for years to come.

I wish him the best in his future endeavors.

3:16 PM: In a turn of events sure to evoke a thousand rats…ship responses (I swear I wrote that line before I saw this! Big love, Steve), after less than two years on Team Gavin, Kevin Ryan, the head of Newsom’s Office of Criminal Justice, has resigned today.

According to KCBS:

Ryan said he wrote his resignation letter over the summer after the death of his brother, deciding he wanted time to do different things.

“I’m going to be teaching a course in white collar crime at a local law school…I’m going to do some writing and practice law selectively,” said Ryan. He explained that timing of his move with Newsom’s resignation from the California governor’s race is purely coincidental.

*We have not verified these remarks, and are just passing them on as they were intended — as a remark from an interested bystander

Additional reporting on this story by Chris Roberts

the author

Eve Batey is the editor and publisher of the San Francisco Appeal. She used to be the San Francisco Chronicle's Deputy Managing Editor for Online, and started at the Chronicle as their blogging and interactive editor. Before that, she was a co-founding writer and the lead editor of SFist. She's been in the city since 1997, presently living in the Outer Sunset with her husband, cat, and dog. You can reach Eve at eve@sfappeal.com.

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  • bloomsm

    This is evidence of the complete mixed-bag approach soon-to-be-ex-Mayor Gavin Newsom brought to the City. First, Ryan is a former US Attorney who basically was fired for being a jerk to his employees (he was not part of a Bush purge of Justice, as many thought). He was given the job of head of the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice even though the mayor does not run the police department and has no say in criminal justice. Second, Ryan’s most recent experience was federal, not local. Third, the City did not need another “law enforcement” official on top of the Police Chief, the Police Commission, the Sheriff, and the DA (not to mention that the cops hate the DA because she refused to seek the death penalty when Ofc. Isaac Espinoza was murdered). So, Kevin Ryan’s loss is no loss to the City.

  • bloomsm

    Just for fun, here’s the Dept. of Justice report on Kevin Ryan’s firing (it’s 392 pages long; feel free to skim to Ch. 12, wherein, our man Ryan finds himself Bushwhacked).

    http://www.usdoj.gov/oig/special/s0809a/final.pdf