Politicians report their wacky donations

April 15 wasn’t just Tax Day, it was the deadline for public officials to file their statement of economic interests. State law requires anyone serving in elected office or appointed to a commission to announce any gifts, property or income other than what he or she earns as a public servant. The files are all publicly available on the Ethics Commission website, and here are a few insights from the finances of our leaders in 2012.

  • Who didn’t file a statement? Disgraced former Housing Authority Director Henry Alvarez, who is rumored to have acquired property — a restaurant in Berkeley — while he was on paid sick leave. We’re waiting, Hank!
  • Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi’s legal defense fund donors are listed on his statement, and of the 156 donors, 56 percent (87 total) were San Franciscans. They included Aaron Peskin ($200), former District Attorney Terence Hallinan ($100) and Randall Knox, candidate for District 11 supervisor ($50).
  • District Attorney George Gascón did not list the $26,000 in furniture donated by his pals to spruce up his office and the victim’s lounge as a gift or income. It is the position of his office that the furniture belongs to The City and not Gascón personally. He did claim as a gift a $200 “orchid and bowl” from Charlotte Shultz.
  • Carmen Chu got married last year, so her statement includes all the gifts that she received. Apparently, Rose Pak gave Carmen an ice sculpture worth $300. I imagine it was a cupid chomping on a cigar.
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    Melissa Griffin’s column runs each Thursday and Sunday. She also appears Mondays in “Mornings with Melissa” at  6:45 a.m. on KPIX (Ch. 5). Email her at mgriffin@sfexaminer.com.

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