New San Francisco police Chief George Gas?on had barely donned his uniform when he said cutting down on Tenderloin drug crime would be a top priority. Not included in any SFPD crime-fighting or outreach efforts was the Tenderloin’s elected representative, the Appeal learned on Tuesday — when Gas?on and said elected representative, Supervisor Chris Daly, met face-to-face, in a somewhat-awkward, very-public way.
Gas?on was at the full Board of Supervisors’ weekly meeting, talking about legislation aimed at revealing how much the SFPD spends on security for traveling city officials. The chief was in the middle of telling the Board how he’s happy to reveal security costs (as long as he can get a figure from his own department he likes, and as long as he doesn’t have to detail the SFPD’s, uh, detail), when Daly, exiting the board chamber during the chief’s chat and walking right by the speakers’ podium to do it, had his first face-to-face with the chief.
on SFGTV (it should be up on Wednesday or Thursday). But for those who can’t be bothered or for those who don’t TiVo meetings, the encounter went something as follows:Check out for yourself video of the encounter
Gas?on : “I think, and I strongly say this: Anything that would put in jeopardy the ability of San Francisco elected officials to aggressively pursue public policy, that may be emotional, that may draw attention from others –” (Here, Daly walks up and says something by way of interruption.)
Gas?on : “Very good to see you, sir.”
(Here, they shake hands.)
Daly: “I’m Supervisor Daly. Nice to meet you.”
Gas?on: “Supervisor? Thank you very much. (Here, Daly walks out, muttering some expletive as he exits Board chamber.) It’s always nice to meet someone, have a great day by the way.”
That the police chief wouldn’t have already met the local elected body by his sixth month on the job is surprising; that a first such meeting would be so acrimonious is more surprising, still. The encounter left some jaws scraping the floor in the press box, and some supervisors scrambling to apologize to Gas?on. For his part, the Chief seemed unruffled by the encounter. “It wasn’t personal,” he said.
Daly, still irked from earlier in the meeting when he wasn’t allowed to speak in opposition of a special hearing (and had several progressive colleagues vote in favor of cutting him off), said he was frustrated by Gas?on’s lack of outreach prior to and during the Tenderloin crackdowns.
Daly is termed out in January 2011, and thinks that might have something to do with the apparent short shrift from SFPD, but admits that he hasn’t called Gas?on to set anything up, either. The one contact between the two? According to Daly, a call from Gas?on’s secretary the morning of the Chief’s TL press conference, inviting Daly out to the press event.
As for what he said when he left the Board chamber? “I muttered something under my breath — I don’t remember what. Might have been ‘fucking asshole.’”
Isn’t that heavy words to bandy about around the Chief? “The last person I passed when I was leaving was [one of my Board colleagues].” Alright, then.