Mayor’s spurned appointee returns

A city commissioner chosen by Mayor Gavin Newsom who was recently turned down by the Board of Supervisors for reappointment to the board that oversees The City’s water and electricity utilities is now facing another possible rejection by the board, after the mayor put him on another city commission.

Newsom appointed Ryan Brooks, an executive with CBS Outdoor Inc., an advertising firm, to the Planning Commission after his reappointment to the PublicUtilities Commission was shot down last month by the Board of Supervisors in an 8-3 vote.

That vote was caught up in disputes about Newsom’s decision to force the ouster of the PUC general manager Susan Leal, who has several friends on the board.

Newsom’s second attempt at appointing Brooks to a commission again requires confirmation by the Board of Supervisors, although in this case the board could shoot down the appointment with six votes, not the eight required to reject a PUC appointee.

On Thursday, members of the Board of Supervisors Rules Committee expressed concern that Brooks would remain employed by CBS Outdoor while sitting on the Planning Commission, which oversees billboard advertising.

Brooks responded by saying that he would recuse himself “if there is any small chance whatsoever there could be a conflict.”

Supervisors Tom Ammiano and Chris Daly said they weren’t convinced that would solve any potential conflicts of interest.

Ammiano said while he supported sending the decision to the full board, he didn’t know “if this is the best fit.”

Supervisor Bevan Dufty said he supported Ryan. “I think he will be honorable,” said Dufty. “Ultimately, his service on the commission is going to be a good thing if he is approved.”

The full board will vote on whether to confirm Brooks’ appointment March 18.

jsabatini@examiner.com

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