Nude ban sparks charges over restroom photo of Supervisor Scott Wiener, more drama

Mike Koozmin/The S.F. Examiner“Scott Wiener was standing at the urinal and just started to tinkle as I entered and the camera took 4-6 seconds to focus

Mike Koozmin/The S.F. Examiner“Scott Wiener was standing at the urinal and just started to tinkle as I entered and the camera took 4-6 seconds to focus

As an upstart blogger faces a criminal charge for an attempted gotcha photo of nudity ban sponsor Scott Wiener, more drama is expected today with plans for another “nude-in” at a Board of Supervisors hearing.

Blogger Michael Petrelis, a Castro gay-rights activist and perennial critic of Wiener’s policies, wrote an October post describing his attempt to photograph the supervisor as he was urinating in the second-floor men’s bathroom at City Hall.

“Scott Wiener was standing at the urinal and just started to tinkle as I entered and the camera took 4-6 seconds to focus, enough time for him to put away his wiener and zip up,” wrote Petrelis, whose only photo documented Wiener at the men’s room sink with his toothbrush and toothpaste.

A few weeks later, Petrelis wrote that he was contacted by Sheriff’s Department deputies who had questioned him about the incident. Last week, Petrelis was charged under a penal code section prohibiting cameras and other surveillance devices in areas “in which the occupant has a reasonable expectation of privacy.”

Wiener released a statement describing the scenario much as Petrelis did, having confirmed a hasty attempt to finish urinating, followed by at least one definitive conclusion: “I did not want to remain in the restroom with Petrelis.”

Meanwhile, nudist activists plan to publicly disrobe again today if the Board of Supervisors undertakes the perfunctory final approval of the ban, which could be enforced as soon as Feb. 1, depending on a First Amendment legal challenge nudists plan to file in federal court.

After the initial vote on the ban, Wiener criticized what he described as a lax response by the Sheriff’s Department deputies charged with keeping order in the board chambers. But deputies at City Hall have unofficially retorted that the protest was ejected from the room within about four minutes.

dschreiber@sfexaminer.com

Bay Area NewsLocalScott Wienersheriff's department

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

San Francisco Police Officer Nicholas Buckley, pictured here in 2014, is now working out of Bayview Station. <ins>(Department of Police Accountability records)</ins>
SF police return officer to patrol despite false testimony

A San Francisco police officer accused of fabricating a reason for arresting… Continue reading

Disability advocates protested outside the home of San Francisco Health Officer Tomas Aragon. (Courtesy Brooke Anderson)
Vaccine rollout plan for people with disabilities remains deeply flawed

On February 13, disability activists paid a visit to the house of… Continue reading

Mayor London Breed and Supervisor Shamann Walton announced that funding would be diverted from the police budget toward the black community in June 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
City directs $60 million toward Black community services and housing support

San Francisco released new details Thursday for how it plans to spend… Continue reading

The Stud, The City’s oldest gay bar which is vacating its longtime home at Ninth and Harrison streets after more than 50 years, on Thursday, May 21, 2020. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
City’s nightlife recovery fund approved but struggling business owners fear relief may come too late

As San Francisco’s nightlife scene approaches nearly a year of a complete… Continue reading

Riordan Crusaders versus St. Ignatius Wildcats at JB Murphy Field on the St. Ignatius Prepatory High School Campus on September 14, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Chris Victorio | Special to the S.F. Examiner)
State allows high school sports to resume, but fight is far from over

For the first time since mid-March 2020, there is hope for high… Continue reading

Most Read