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Mayor forwards familiar name to fill empty Police Commission seat

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(Courtesy photo)

The San Francisco Police Commission seat left empty in January by the resignation of former President Suzy Loftus may soon be filled if the mayor’s recommendation for the seat is approved.

Mayor Ed Lee has recommended attorney Robert Hirsch as the replacement for Loftus, which will be forwarded to the Board of Supervisors for approval.

Lee sent the board a letter Tuesday detailing Hirsch’s nomination.

“Hirsch has spent his professional life working on issues of social justice, from discrimination claims to serving communities most in need,” the mayor said in a statement. “He is committed to helping those who do not have a voice.”

The mayor continued, “With more than 36 years as a mediator and arbitrator managing and resolving labor disputes, he is well-respected by many in our city. He is committed to the public safety of our communities and implementing the Department of Justice police reforms.”

Hirsch has been a labor arbiter and mediator since 2005. From 1994 to 2005, he was general counsel for McMorgan & Company, an investment firm. He has taught at a number of universities and raised his two children in San Francisco.

The seven-member Police Commission governs department policy and oversees major discipline. It also chooses the police chief candidates for each mayor and hires and fires the head of the Department of Police Accountability. Four of the seats are mayoral appointments and three are board appointments.

Immigrant rights lawyer and USF professor Bill Hing — a board appointment — filled the empty seat left by Hwang. Hirsch was a nominee for that seat at the time.


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