Former San Francisco U.S. Attorney Kevin Ryan has been appointed to the Ethics Commission. (Courtesy City Attorney's Office)

City Attorney appoints former San Francisco U.S. Attorney Kevin Ryan to Ethics Commission

San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera on Monday announced the appointment of former San Francisco U.S. Attorney Kevin Ryan to the Ethics Commission.

Ryan is expected to serve at his first commission hearing Wednesday, when the government watchdog agency will continue debate over broad campaign finance and reform legislation.

“As a former judge and top federal prosecutor in San Francisco, he knows the City, knows the law and knows how to assess facts impartially,” Herrera said in a statement. “Judge Ryan has deep experience in government ethics and leading complex investigations, including those involving financial crimes. He is a straight shooter who is prepared to take tough, principled stands when the facts call for them. He’ll make an excellent commissioner.”

Ryan became a San Francisco Superior Court judge in 1999. In 2002, then President George W. Bush appointed him as U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California. In 2008, then-Mayor Gavin Newsom picked Ryan to head his Office of Criminal Justice. Ryan has also served as an adjunct professor at the University of San Francisco School of Law.

“My career in local, county, state and federal offices, as well as in private and academic settings these past years, has, in my view, prepared me well for the issues we will face in this arena. I look forward to working with the other commissioners — and all the other stakeholders — as we move forward to resolve relevant issues as mandated by the voters of San Francisco.”

Ryan’s appointment fills the seat on the commission left by Herrera’s previous appointment, Peter Keane, who abruptly resigned during an Ethics Commission hearing in February over the body’s refusal to place reform legislation on the ballot. Keane said he didn’t want the proposal to be further watered down by the legislative process.

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