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Monday, August 4, 2014

Scott Wiener Won't Play Ball With Michael Petrelis

Posted By on Mon, Aug 4, 2014 at 11:11 AM

What the forthcoming District 8 supervisorial race lacks in competition, it may make up in drama. 
click to enlarge The image at the heart of it - MICHAEL PETRELIS
  • Michael Petrelis
  • The image at the heart of it
Incumbent Supervisor Scott Wiener doesn't have anybody running against him who could, conceivably, be labeled a "serious candidate." But there is a loud one.

Gay blogger and activist Michael Petrelis has, let us say, carved out a niche as a colorful character in this town.

In 2012, he followed Wiener into the second floor men's room at City Hall; Petrelis attempted to snap a photo of the supervisor's penis while Wiener was in mid-piss, but failed in this task and only caught Wiener at the sink (this was the narrative Petrelis admitted to, in writing, on his blog). 

At the time, a law professor told SF Weekly that Petrelis' statement was tantamount to a "public confession" of violating  Section 647(j) of the penal code, which deals with spying on or recording someone in an "area in which the occupant has a reasonable expectation of privacy." Petrelis last year pleaded no contest to that charge, apologized, and said it would never happen again. He has, however, continued to present himself publicly as a victim of powerful and vindictive City Hall figures acting at Wiener's behest. 

So, that's the past. In the present, Petrelis is hoping to alter a stay-away order that would make debating the incumbent supervisor impossible without the aid of Skype. A judge on Wednesday asked for Wiener's input with regards to modifying the 150-foot stay-away order. A subsequent hearing was scheduled for this morning. 

Petrelis' supporters yesterday put out a dramatic press release: "Will the District 8 Supervisor show up in court and face the man he accused? Join us at the court and see for yourself."

We'll save you the drama: He didn't show up.

Wiener deferred comment on all things Petrelis to the consultant running his re-election campaign, Maggie Muir. She sent us the following statement: 

"Michael Petrelis stalked Supervisor Wiener in a restroom and attempted to photograph the Supervisor while he was using a urinal. As a result of this behavior, Petrelis was charged with a crime, pled guilty, and has a restraining order against him.

Unfortunately, this kind of behavior by Petrelis isn't isolated. Petrelis has a long history of threatening behavior toward public servants, HIV/AIDS advocates, and reporters. He has been convicted of making criminal threats, spent time in jail, and been the subject of various restraining orders."

In other words, don't count on Wiener acquiescing to any entreaties to alter the terms of the stay-away order. And don't expect him to appear in the same room as Petrelis if he can help it — for a debate or any other conceivable reason. 

Update, 2:30 p.m.: Muir sent a revised statement noting "Supervisor Wiener will not be participating in any candidate forums in which Petrelis is present." 

So, that takes the drama out of that. 

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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.

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