Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Is City Attorney Herrera Investigating Charlotte Shultz's Charity?

When he's not advancing his political opportunities, and keeping tabs on individuals and Democratic clubs important to the rise of San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera, gay professional Matt Dorsey collects a paycheck serving as the mouthpiece for Herrera.

(Herrera, left, with Dorsey at the U.S. Supreme Court for a photo-op that cost the City $17,000 and the cost of which became public after I raised questions about the City Attorney's DC junket last March.)

Make no mistake about it. Everything Dorsey says and does is as part of Team Herrera and should not be viewed as anything more than an operative of City Hall forces.

This note was sent to Herrera yesterday:

I am lodging a complaint with you against the nonprofit group San Francisco Host Committee, which for the past seven years has received $250,000 annually from the City. The committee is led by Charlotte Maillaird Shultz who also serves as the City's Protocol Chief. As you know, the voters overwhelmingly passed Prop F in 1998 explicitly barring the use of City funds for duties and parties in any way linked to the Protocol Chief, yet public records from the General Services Administration reveal that the committee is indeed spending taxpayer dollars for such activities. 

Please visit my blog post about this misuse of public funds by Shultz and view a small portion of the GSA's documents about how she spends her City grant. And go here to reread the language of Prop F.  

I request that you immediately begin an investigation into my allegations that Shultz and her SF Host Committee have directly broken City law. 

My intention is to use a (nominally) public watchdog office for the benefit of the public as part of my follow the public money campaign and I've started with the most likely candidate, the City Attorney. He is monitoring how nonprofits spend City funds and ensuring a high-profile charity follows the law, right? Oh, and we the people can depend on him for basic transparency, too. Yes?

This is the response I received from Dorsey:

I respond on behalf of City Attorney Dennis Herrera to acknowledge receiving the email you sent earlier today entitled "Complaint against SF Host Cmte's use of City dollars," in which you ask this office to investigate allegations you've made about possible wrongdoing. 

Apart from acknowledging its receipt, I can only assure you that I've forwarded your email to appropriate attorneys in this office. Beyond that, you should be aware that the San Francisco City Attorney's Office's longstanding policy requires that I neither confirm nor deny the existence of investigations. 

This policy mirrors identical practices by most other public law offices and investigative bodies. 

How convenient that all Dorsey need do to move me along, and any member of the public, is say it's been Herrera's policy to keep info about public funds and public charities private. I don't remember the public getting a say in this decision and if ain't a law that Herrera can maintain silence after a complaint is filed, I wanna see the statute.

I'm not impressed Dorsey cites alleged similar policies at other unnamed public law offices. I've had complaints lodged against me with public law enforcement bodies and let me tell you, they very much went out of their way to confirm that an investigation was underway or had produced findings leading to an indictment.

We need the City Attorney providing transparent oversight to the public regarding how charities use our dollars, and not hiding behind a Herrera-created policy that may not be based on legal requirements.

Why should any watchdog member of the public bother to file a complaint with Herrera if we know it will disappear into a vortex of darkness and no nothing from the very office that should be barking up the trees of a few nonprofits?

San Francsico's City Attorney is no friend of nonprofit accountability.

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