Embattled campaign consultant Alex Tourk is no longer working on District Attorney George Gascón’s election campaign, Gascón announced late Tuesday.
Tourk, of lobbying firm Ground Floor Public Affairs, was released by City Attorney Dennis Herrera’s mayoral campaign earlier today after it was revealed that Tourk had recorded lobbying contacts with Herrera in violation of local law. Tourk had also recorded lobbying contacts with Gascón, as the Appeal first reported last week, in further apparent violation of the law.
When contacted, a representative from Gascón’s campaign did not immediately return calls for comment last week (in part because that representative was a Tourk employee).
Speaking on behalf of Gascón’s campaign on Tuesday, Rudy Ramirez — an employee of Whitehurst/Mosher Campaigns, Gascón’s main campaign team (and Herrera’s, for those of us keeping score at home) — said it’s “full steam ahead” with Gascón’s campaign, the official kickoff of which is scheduled for Saturday.
“What we’re saying is, we didn’t want the distraction, we’ve got a tough race, and we need to focus on that,” Ramirez said. “Alex felt the same way, and offered up his resignation.”
In a statement, Gascón said that Tourk “steadfastly believes he was in compliance with San Francisco’s lobbying and ethics laws and believes he will ultimately be cleared of any alleged wrongdoing.”
Tourk did not respond to an e-mail seeking comment.
Tourk was not Gascón’s main strategist but “a consultant for campaign strategy,” according to Ramirez. Whitehurst/Mosher Campaign Strategy and Media will continue as Gascón’s main masterminds.
The investigation into possible ethics violations by Tourk and his former clients is being conducted by the Oakland City Attorney’s office.