Supes support mayor paying certain security-detail costs 

The Board of Supervisors approved legislation in a 7-3 vote Tuesday that requires mayors to reimburse The City for certain security-detail costs. Supervisors Sean Elsbernd, Carmen Chu and Bevan Dufty opposed the legislation. Supervisor Michela Alioto-Pier was absent.

Mayor Gavin Newsom is expected to veto the legislation. It takes eight votes to override a mayoral veto.

Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi introduced the legislation following questions raised about Mayor Gavin Newsom’s use of the security detail when campaigning for governor, a race he quit in October, and on trips such as his Montana wedding.

On Tuesday, Mirkarimi said that the object is to shed light on a budget item that the public has had no information on. “It would be unfathomable to allow any ghost budget remain unaccounted for,” he said.

Police Chief George Gascon had released a figure that the department spent about $2.1 million on dignitary security in a fiscal year. But there were no details about those costs.

Mirkarimi said that the legislation is about “disclosure, transparency and accountability,” and that the “people want to know.”

The legislation was opposed by Police Chief George Gascon. Mirkarimi made several amendments in an effort to try to address the top-cop’s concerns that it could jeopardize the safety of the mayor.

The original piece of legislation would have required to mayor to reimburse the city for the cost of security detail used when engaged in campaigning activity outside of San Francisco. That was changed to require reimbursement only when outside of California.

Changes also narrowed the definition of “campaign-related activity” to mean “any activity or meeting with the purpose of advocating or raising funds for the city elective officer’s election to any state or federal elective office."

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