Daly calls for investigation of Newsom over attempted firing

Supervisor Chris Daly has requested that the City Attorney investigate Mayor Gavin Newsom for possibly violating the City Charter when it came to his handling of trying to oust executive director of the Film Commission Stefanie Coyote, who has yet to step down from the post.

Daly is also seeking advice “on the correct process for hiring a new Film Commission director, should a vacancy arise.”

Daly, who has suggested Newsom is trying to do “an end run around the City Charter,” said in the letter to the City Attorney that he wants an opinion “whether it is appropriate or not for the Mayor to ask a department head for her resignation without recommending removal of the department head to the appropriate commission.”

Daly also wants the City Attorney to investigate “whether or not the mayor’s request of a resignation from Ms. Coyote involved any coercion or unnecessary duress.”

Daly doesn’t stop there. He also wants the City Attorney to investigate whether Newsom’s request for Coyote’s resignation had anything to do with her husband’s support of Newsom’s opponent in the Democratic primary for California governor. Newsom quit that ambition in October, and Daly is wondering whether Newsom’s actions open up the city to any legal risks.

It’s unclear when or if the City Attorney will respond to Daly, but Daly said he would “appreciate your swift response to this matter.”

Daly’s request of the City Attorney to investigate Newsom’s behavior is not without precedent.

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