City Attorney Dennis Herrera filed suit against San Francisco Port Commissioner Mel Murphy after an investigation initially spurred by the suspicious collapse of a hillside house Murphy owns uncovered a far-reaching pattern of unlawful business practices and rampant violations of building, housing and safety codes.
The 26-page civil complaint filed in San Francisco Superior Court on April 1, 2015 alleges that the longtime real estate developer and former Building Inspection Commission president knowingly flouted state and local laws at three development projects in San Francisco, and repeatedly failed to disclose his ownership of an illegally-developed four-unit Alabama Street property in the Mission District. As a building inspection commissioner between 2006 and 2012, and port commissioner since 2013, Murphy has been required to report income from such assets annually on his statements of economic interest.
Said Herrera: "Mel Murphy flouted the very same laws he was charged with enforcing on the Building Inspection Commission, and he did so persistently for a number of years. Murphy's actions make plain that his unlawful practices were willful and, more seriously, an egregious betrayal of the public trust. With my office's lawsuit today, we are moving aggressively to penalize Commissioner Murphy's wrongdoing, and send a clear message to private developers and public officials alike that there will be a steep price to pay for this kind of lawlessness in San Francisco."
City Attorney Dennis Herrera is appealing an Oct. 21 decision by a federal judge invalidating recent amendments to a city ordinance that sought to mitigate the daunting financial harms facing San Franciscans who are evicted under the state Ellis Act. "There should be no doubt that when a landlord evicts a rent-controlled tenant, the immense rent increase the tenant faces is the direct result of the landlord's decision to evict," Herrera said. "The district court's decision is contrary to cases interpreting the U.S. Constitution. San Francisco is facing a housing affordability crisis that's historically unprecedented, and our tenant relocation law serves a legitimate and lawful public purpose in helping tenants to adjust to the loss of rent control and mitigating the harms of displacement."
After a thirteen year battle that broke new legal ground and consumed years of work by public and private attorneys, the City and County of San Francisco along with Santa Clara County, Los Angeles County and seven other California cities and counties won a $1.1 billion judgment from the Honorable Judge James P. Kleinberg of Santa Clara Superior Court, who ruled that three manufacturers of lead-based paints are jointly liable for the cost of removing their products from homes around the state.
City Attorney Herrera has filed a class action against the State of Nevada for its controversial "patient dumping" practices -- busing hundreds of indigent people who suffer from mental health afflictions to out-of-state locations, including San Francisco, "with inadequate provisions of food and medication, and without prior arrangements for their care, housing or medical treatment upon arrival." The lawsuit is on behalf of all California localities affected by the practice.
San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera is engaged in litigation against Monster Beverage Corporation for violating California law with its marketing of highly-caffeinated energy drinks to children as young as six-years-old, despite scientific findings that such products may cause "significant morbidity in adolescents" from elevated blood pressure, brain seizures, and severe cardiac events.
City Attorney Dennis Herrera has filed suit against three gun accessories companies and a gun show promoter for selling disassembled high-capacity magazines in California in violation of a state law that prohibits the sale, manufacture, or import of gun ammunition feeding devices that accept more than 10 rounds. The equipment is marketed as gun magazine "repair kits" in a barely-disguised attempt to skirt a 14-year-old California gun safety law, according to Herrera's complaint.