Case against mayor's cousin seems to vanish

Authorities are trying to figure out how a charge of driving under the influence of narcotics involving a 44-year-old cousin of Mayor Gavin Newsom suddenly fell apart, prompting the case to be thrown out of court.

According to a police report obtained by The Examiner, John Brennan Newsom was arrested on Oct. 21, 2007, on suspicion of driving under the influence and being under the influence of a controlled substance.

About 9:15 p.m., police approached a red BMW in the parking lot of a motel at Eddy and Polk streets after a 50-year-old woman told police the car almost hit her and her dog.

Brennan Newsom, a Marina district resident, was found in a “slouched/slumped position behind the wheel,” according to the report. He failed a field sobriety test but passed a Breathalyzer test, the report said.

Brennan Newsom told police he had taken a Xanax, an anti-anxiety drug prescribed by a doctor, after waking up from a nap at 5 p.m.

Police said they found two plastic baggies with cocaine residue in the car, but the amount was so small that charges weren’t filed for possession.

The police report does not include results of a toxicology report, though it states a blood sample was drawn from Brennan Newsom at Mission Station that night.

The District Attorney’s Office charged Brennan Newsom; however, in the time between his arrest and court appearance, a problem with the case file caused the charge to be dismissed.

“The defendant has been charged in connection with two incidents,” District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Erica Derryck said in a statement. “With respect to the 10/21/07 arrest, the question before the law enforcement community is whether the complete packet of information needed for the case to proceed was provided to the authorities and included in the court docket when it should have  been.”

There are no records of the case on file at San Francisco Superior Court.

Brennan Newsom is also facing a charge of driving under the influence for a May 20 incident, according to the District Attorney’s Office. The Mayor’s Office declined to comment on the case.

A call to a phone numberassociated with Brennan Newsom’s address was not answered.

bbegin@sfexaminer.com

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