Newsom salary spat may spawn tighter restrictions on city funds

In response to Mayor Gavin Newsom’s admission that he used nearly $1 million from four different city departments to pay for some of his staff members, one supervisor said he is considering legislation to increase oversight of such spending decisions.

Supervisor Jake McGoldrick also blasted the administration for releasing a draft copy of a city audit investigating the spending that he requested. Last Friday, Newsom’s office held a sit-down meeting with reporters to slam the findings of the report, which was supplied to reporters by Newsom’s spokesman Nathan Ballard.

Ballard said Monday that the report “was nothing but a hit piece on the mayor and I have no regrets about setting the record straight.”

McGoldrick said he was “going to write some kind of law” that would prohibit the “leaking” of such documents.

“You can’t do good government otherwise,” he said. On Monday, the administration continued to defend the spending as a long-standing practice at City Hall that makes sense since the positions are related to those city departments funding them.

“If it can help foster more collaboration between departments … then we should encourage this practice, not condemn it,” Newsom’s Chief of Staff Phil Ginsburg said.

McGoldrick said legislation was needed that would “make it necessary to get direct approval for that kind of stuff,” adding that “If it’s been done in the past, that doesn’t justify it.”

jsabatini@examiner.com

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