Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Friday, February 8, 2013

Mel Murphy Tapped for Port Commission by Mayor Ed Lee

Posted By on Fri, Feb 8, 2013 at 11:59 AM

Mel Murphy's Facebook photo shows him and his wife with Mayor Ed Lee

With little fanfare, Mayor Ed Lee has nominated controversial developer Mel Murphy to the influential Port Commission. The limit of public notice appears to be this blink-and-you-miss-it statement on page 15 of next week's Board of Supervisors' agenda.

Murphy's long-rumored nomination appeared to be in jeopardy after the Department of Building Inspection shut down a Mission District project of Murphy's following revelations work was being done without proper permitting. This was an especially awkward situation as Murphy is the immediate past president of the Building Inspection Commission and may well have been the sitting president when work commenced on the project.

Lee earlier returned $2,150 in contributions from Department of Building Inspection employees obtained at fundraiser held in Murphy's home. City commissioners are prohibited from hitting up city workers for campaign contributions; seven DBI employees donated to Lee at Murphy's fund-raiser.

Finally, Murphy's name may be familiar to SF Weekly readers as our December cover story about home demolitions chronicled his attempts to "remodel" a Twin Peaks home from 854 square feet to 5,139 square feet -- after being denied a demolition permit for a plan that would have enlarged the home to 4,019 square feet.

See Also: Bringing Down the Housing: How Builders Game the System

Queried if Lee is confident everything was on the straight and narrow at Murphy's Mission District development, mayoral spokeswoman Christine Falvey stated that "all of our commissioners go through a thorough vetting process." Murphy was officially nominated for the post on Feb. 1.

His nomination will, in the near future, be shunted through the Board's Rules Committee, and a public hearing will be held.

It may be an interesting process. The Port Commission will soon be overseeing a number of high-profile waterfront developments including the 8 Washington project and the proposed Warriors arena. Folks not so amenable to those proposals can be expected to weigh in on this and other matters -- rest assured.

Update, 4:50 p.m.: The Ethics Commission confirms that Murphy failed to file his mandatory Statement of Economic Interest upon leaving office, which was due in March of last year. This inspires great confidence in the mayor's touted vetting process.

  • Pin It

About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"