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Farrell resubmits Police Commission nominees rejected by board

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Mayor Mark Farrell on Thursday resubmitted his nominations of Sonia Melara and Joe Marshall for reappointment to the Police Commission after the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted 6-5 to reject them. (Kevin Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Mayor Mark Farrell has once again nominated two former members of the Police Commission for reappointment just days after the Board of Supervisors rejected his picks in a move the mayor called “outrageous.”

Farrell said he resubmitted his nominations of Joe Marshall and Sonia Melara to the commission on Thursday with the hope that the Board of Supervisors would approve their reappointments once a new mayor is elected to office.

“I hope the Board of Supervisors can quickly approve these two highly qualified re-appointments immediately after the June 5 election,” Farrell said in a statement.

On Tuesday, Supervisor Sandra Fewer said before the 6-5 vote against Marshall and Melara that the Board of Supervisors needed to pause the decision until the next mayor has a chance to weigh in.

The decision meant that the commission would remain without enough members to hold a meeting after former commissioners Bill Ong Hing and Julius Turman recently resigned and Marshall and Melara’s terms ended. Turman, the former commission president, died Sunday following his resignation.

“At this crucial juncture in our reform efforts, the lack of a full Police Commission is a disservice to the people of San Francisco,” Farrell said.

But some have questioned the contributions Marshall and Melara made to police reform. Hing, who resigned in April after being the lone vote against a policy on arming officers with stun guns, said following the board’s decision that Marshall and Melara were “part of the problem.”

Marshall and Melara would not sign an argument against a proposed ballot measure from the police union that would prevent the Police Commission from changing policy around the use of stun guns, according to John Crew, a retired ACLU attorney who is spearheading opposition to Proposition H.

Police Chief Bill Scott called that measure the “antithesis” of reform.

“If you can’t stand up for the Police Commission’s authority, why do you want to be on the Police Commission?” Crew said.

As commissioners, Melara previously said she has worked on changing the department’s use of force policy while Marshall headed a committee on bias.

The Police Commission needs at least four members for a quorum. Board appointee Petra DeJesus and mayoral appointees Robert Hirsch and Thomas Mazzucco currently sit on the commission.

The Board of Supervisors Rules Committee will need to vote on Marshall and Melara again before the full board reconsiders the issue.

Mayor Mark Farrell on Thursday resubmitted his nominations of Sonia Melara and Joe Marshall for reappointment to the Police Commission after the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted 6-5 to reject them. (Examiner file photo)

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