Moderate-backed Police Commission candidate withdraws from running

Olga Miranda (Courtesy photo)

Labor leader Olga Miranda has withdrawn her application to serve on the San Francisco Police Commission, paving the way for the probable appointment of longtime Commissioner Petra DeJesus, the San Francisco Examiner has learned.

Miranda’s candidacy was seemingly overshadowed by media reports, including from the Examiner, that she physically bullied several people in recent years, raising questions about whether she was fit to serve on the commission.

“Supervisor [Ahsha] Safai, Please withdraw my application for the San Francisco Police Commission. Thank you. Olga Miranda,” reads the 2 p.m. email Miranda sent to the head of the Board of Supervisors committee she was set to go before as part of her candidacy.

Miranda, 41, is a Los Angeles-raised labor union organizer and newcomer to police oversight, and has backing from The City’s moderate supervisors. She is president of SEIU Local 87 and secretary treasurer for the San Francisco Labor Council.

SEE RELATED: Police Commission contender’s hot-headed history includes assault allegation

Miranda’s troubles sprang from her work union work. She allegedly threw hot coffee on a colleague last December, and was also the subject of a temporary restraining order requested in May 2015 filed by government contractor Martha Lutt alleging that Miranda shoved him during a negotiation, according to the Bay Area Reporter.

Miranda, who said she moved away from her family in the East Bay to San Francisco in February just to fill the seat, did not respond for a request for comment. Residency in San Francisco is required to serve on the Police Commission.

Her main opponent for the seat, DeJesus, is scheduled to go before the board’s Rules Committee in a special meeting Thursday. DeJesus, 60, has served on the commission since 2006 and is a former deputy public defender. She has backing from The City’s progressive establishment.

“I am looking forward to the Rules Committee hearing this Thursday and hopefully getting back to work on this important commission,” said DeJesus in a text message.

DeJesus’ term ended April 30, and the length of the time her seat has been empty has frustrated some.

Supervisor Sandra Fewer, a Rules Committee member, sent a letter in late May to the full board and Safai asking for a special hearing on the seat.

“This appointment is important to ensure that the work of the Police Commission continues with a full and complete body to address the important issues of police reform, accountability and public access,” Fewer wrote, noting she has already asked several times for a new hearing.

At the time Safai said he’d schedule such a hearing for the committee’s June 14 meeting.

Safai, with whom Miranda used to work and whom she supported in his run for office, did not respond to a request for comment Monday. Safai has previously denied that his backing of Miranda had anything to do with her supporting him politically or that his opposition of DeJesus had anything to do with her opposing him.

Three of the seven civilian police oversight body members are chosen by the Board of Supervisors, and any candidates must first pass through the Rules Committee. The full board then votes on the appointment.

It’s unclear when the committee will hear from the other candidate, corporate attorney Maxwell Pritt.

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