We know at this point that Mayor Newsom didn't seek legal counsel before he decided to ask for everyone who runs anything in town to resign. If he had, and he'd thought about it a little bit, he might have discovered what City Attorney Dennis Herrera did: This could cost the city big money.
I'm not talking about lawsuits by forcibly resigned employees -- Newsom had ever legal right to do what he did. No, what's fascinating is a two-sentence note at the end of the city attorney's seven-page opinion on the mass resignations. It says:
"The resignations of certain department heads or commissioner may present other legal issues for the City depending on the particular facts and circumstances. For example, There could be questions about whether to make public disclosures under certain City bonds or municipal debt issuances."
What that means is that the city might have to notify the financial markets -- the bond holders and brokers -- about the mass almost-firings, the same way a company that holds public debt would have to notify debtors that all of its senior staff had resigned.
If the bond-rating agencies decide that a mass exodus of all the experience and talent managing the city is a bad thing for San Francisco's financial stability, we could see a downgrading of our bonds -- and that could cost us a lot of money.
I wonder if Gavin ever thought about that.
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