Poor Julian Davis. If only he had waited until Nov. 7 to assault a woman, supervisors John Avalos and David Campos (and Jane Kim and Christina Olague) would have been on his side.
Instead, Avalos and Campos have dusted off their cheap, convenient masks of concern about violence against women and withdrawn their endorsement for Davis, who is a candidate for supervisor in District 5.
Why? Because Davis is alleged to have groped a woman under her clothes one night in a bar six years ago. The incident came to light recently when Davis’ lawyer sent the victim a “cease and desist” letter threatening to sue her for defamation if she kept repeating the story. The woman never pressed charges at the time, but unwanted sexual touching of a person is a crime.
It’s called sexual battery.
And it’s a misdemeanor, so according to Avalos, Campos, Kim and Olague, it is acceptable behavior for a public official to commit. One by one, before casting their votes to reinstate Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi last Tuesday, each said they would not remove any public official for any conduct unless it was done while performing official duties.
According to this “logic,” convictions for misdemeanor domestic violence, child abuse, elder abuse, assault and battery, hit and run, shoplifting and prostitution wouldn’t warrant removal so long as these crimes were committed after-hours. You know, during private, family time.
The same goes for sexual battery.
In other words, one bruise on the arm while in uniform is worth more than one in a minivan on a holiday. This is an absurd conclusion by four cowards who would rather shift their responsibility to the public by forcing an expensive and time-consuming recall process.
Surely not every misdemeanor warrants removal, but that’s why we have the entire process of review by the Ethics Commission and the Board of Supervisors to examine each case to see if an official has committed an act that falls below the standard of decency we expect of our officials. (This process, by the way, is unchanged by the vote and the 43 minutes of blather about mayoral power that preceded it. The mayor’s power to suspend officials is in the City Charter, and is the same today as it was in March when Mayor Ed Lee removed Mirkarimi from office.)
Avalos and Campos can rant and rave about Davis all day long (and The San Francisco Examiner rightfully withdrew its endorsement of Davis) but the bottom line it that, along with Olague and Kim, these people have burdened an unsuspecting public with the task of a recall and made it easier for abusers to remain in office.
And that falls below the standard of decency we should expect from our officials.