Alioto-Pier to supes: Stop the 'bully pulpit'

A supervisor on Tuesday introduced an enforceable code of conduct for the 11-member Board of Supervisors, while some supervisors say it’s time to get back to business following recent fireworks among elected officials.

Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier, the code’s sponsor, said that the board needs to be able to maintain decorum inside board chambers, following Supervisor Chris Daly’s controversial comments last week in which Alioto-Pier said Daly “defamed” Mayor Gavin Newsom by using “innuendo” to say Newsom broke the law.

During a Board of Supervisors meeting last week, Daly accused Newsom of hypocritically proposing funding cuts to substance abuse programs while he “artfully dodges every question about allegations in his own cocaine use.”

“Members of this board should not use these chambers as a bully pulpit from which to engage in personal and political attacks upon others,” Alioto-Pier said.

Alioto-Pier’s proposal would allow the Board of Supervisors to remove a supervisor for misconduct from any adjunct committee representing The City and from any board committee with fiduciary responsibilities for one year.

Any member would be able to submit a motion alleging a violation of the code of conduct, which would result in a hearing before the full board.

Currently, the board can only issue public statements of admonishment or approve a motion to censure, which carries no penalties.

Daly fired back with a proposal of his own Tuesday, requesting that the city attorney draft legislation to “promote the highest possible ethical workplace standards” for city officials and employees.

The legislation would prohibit “sexual relations between supervisors or managers and employees” and prohibit and enact penalties for “intoxication and substance abuse” during public meetings.

Newsom announced in February that he entered an outpatient program at Delancey Street Foundation for alcohol abuse treatment, days after acknowledging he had a sexual affair with an employee of his office, who was also the wife of one of his former top political aides.

Daly also included a proposal to promote better attendance by supervisors at board meetings, in apparent reference to Alioto-Pier.

“There he [Daly] goes again,” Newsom’s spokesperson Nathan Ballard said. “This is yet another thinly veiled attempt to inject personal allegations into the public dialogue. This is the kind of behavior that his colleagues need to rein in.”

Board of Supervisors President Aaron Peskin suggested it was time to move on.

“While I certainly think the board will give serious consideration to a code of conduct, I think it’s time for all of the members to get back to their job of being legislators and stop unproductive tit-for-tat,” he said.

jsabatini@examiner.com

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