Police Commission vacancy recommendation postponed in committee

A hearing on who may be San Francisco’s newest police commissioner was postponed Thursday to next week because of a late applicant, prolonging the vacancy created by Victor Hwang last month when he left for his new position as a Superior Court judge.

Four people had applied to the Rules Committee, which was set to vote on a recommendation for the full Board of Supervisors, but the late application of Bill Hing changed that.

Hing, a law professor and civil rights lawyer, will now vie for the position alongside four others.

They include Robert Hirsch, a labor arbiter and mediator; John Hamasaki, a criminal defense attorney who has defended political protesters; Julie Soo, a staff attorney for the California Department of Insurance who prosecutes enforcement cases; and Michael Young, a realtor who was previously a diplomat in the Foreign Service.

The seven-member Police Commission is the policy making body of the Police Department and acts as a tribunal on all serious police disciplinary matters.

The commission is also tasked with directing the hiring process for the police chief, and leading a recent package of reforms that include new use of force rules.

City rules give the mayor appointment power over four of those seats, and the Board of Supervisors three. The current vacancy is a board appointment.

The Rules Committee will have a special hearing at 11:30 a.m. Monday in Room 263 at City Hall to vote on the applicants. Their recommendation will then be forwarded to the full board, which will make the final decision.

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