Petra DeJesus, left, a longtime commissioner on the Police Commission, is being challenged for the job by union organizer Olga Miranda, at right.

Pressure mounts for delayed Police Commission appointment hearings

A San Francisco supervisor attempted to push the long-simmering Police Commission reappointment fight into the center of city politics Tuesday by formally requesting for a special committee hearing to speed up the process of selecting the next commissioner.

The effort by moderate-backed union organizer Olga Miranda to oust incumbent Petra DeJesus has been on hold because Supervisor Ahsha Safai, chair of the board’s Rules Committee, has yet to schedule a hearing.

The seat is one of three appointed by the board to sit on the seven-member commission.

That wait has angered Supervisor Sandra Fewer, a Rules Committee member, who sent a letter to the full board and Safai on Tuesday afternoon, asking for a special hearing next week.

“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.

“This appointment is particularly important as this commissioner is the representative of the Board of Supervisors and as a board member, I am anxious to have full representation,” she wrote.

But Safai said he told Fewer before her letter was sent that he plans on scheduling such a hearing for the committee’s June 14 meeting.

DeJesus’ term ended April 30.

The hearing had been scheduled for May 10, but was canceled. That means DeJesus, who has served on the Police Commission since 2005, has had to wait for a hearing, as has the Safai-backed candidate, Miranda, president of Service Employees International Union Local 87.

DeJesus, who made a name for herself by blocking San Francisco police from using of Tasers, did not back Safai in his run for supervisor, but he previously said that has nothing to do with his support for his former colleague Miranda. Instead, he said he thinks it is time for a change.

Democratic County Central Committee member DeJesus has received strong support from the community and local Democratic organizations, all of whom have been inundating supervisors with correspondence calling for her reappointment, according to a Public Records Act request made by the San Francisco Examiner covering April 1 to May 11.

None received correspondence supporting Miranda, who was instead attacked as unfit for the job. She did not return a call for comment.

Miranda has made headlines in recent weeks for a series of incidents that some have said make her unfit to serve as a commissioner.

Miranda allegedly threw hot coffee on a colleague after a heated union meeting in December 2016. According to the Bay Area Reporter, a temporary restraining order request in May 2015 filed by government contractor Martha Lutt alleged that Miranda shoved him during a negotiation.

Former Supervisor John Avalos wrote in a letter to the board that someone with such a history is not a good fit for the Police Commission.

“Based on a recent news story which featured a recording of her in action dressing down a colleague with abusive and bullying language, as well as other reports of her belligerent interactions, Olga Miranda lacks the temperament and is unfit to serve on a city commission,” Avalos wrote in reference to an Examiner “On Guard” column.


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