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Indybay FeatureRelated Categories: San Francisco | Labor & Workers
SFPOA Racist Cop And SFERS Bd Member Sgt. Stansbury Wants To Keep Pension Funds in Guns
SFPOA racist cop and SFERS Board Member Sgt. Brian Stansbury wants to keep city worker pension funds in the gun industry. He also wants to put a large percentage of city pensions into secret hedge funds that will personally benefit other board members like Mayor Ed Lee appointed Wendy Paskin Jordan who is a hedge fund vulture capitalist. She has personally benefited from being on the SFERS board.
SFPOA Racist Cop And SFERS Board Member Sgt. Brian Stansbury Wants To Keep SF City Worker Pension Funds In Guns
"Board member Brian Stansbury, a San Francisco police sergeant, would only say, “Our responsibility as board members is to evaluate every investment and its risk to the retirement system.”
SF pension fund sticking to its guns and ammo
By Kathleen Pender
June 17, 2016 Updated: June 17, 2016 6:46pm
Photo: Paul Chinn, The ChronicleProtesters stage a die-in at Justin Herman Plaza in San Francisco after the Sandy Hook school shooting in 2012.
In February 2013, two months after Adam Lanza murdered 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a resolution urging the city’s pension fund board to unload its stake in firearms and ammunition makers.
At its meeting the next month, the board of the San Francisco Employees’ Retirement system discussed the nonbinding resolution but took no action, other than referring it to its staff to research some questions that were raised. But the issue was never brought up at another board meeting.
Many mass shootings later — including the deadliest in modern U.S. history last weekend in Orlando — the San Francisco fund still owns shares in three companies that make guns or ammo sold to consumers: Orbital ATK, Vista Outdoor, and Sturm, Ruger & Co. These holdings are worth just over $1 million combined, a tiny fraction of the fund’s $20 billion portfolio. But even that small stake is surprising considering that San Francisco has passed some of the toughest gun restrictions in the country. Last year, its sole remaining gun shop closed after the city passed an ordinance requiring gun sellers to record all commercial firearms sales on video and give the Police Department weekly updates on ammunition sales.
Photo: Paul Chinn, The ChronicleChildren’s shoes are lined up at a 2012 demonstration, where names of the school shooting victims were read.
Supervisor Mark Farrell said he plans to introduce a similar gun-divestment resolution on Tuesday. “It is part of a slow and very long process, but I think it’s important,” he said.
Other large public pension funds in California adopted gun-divestment policies within months of the Sandy Hook massacre. The California Public Employees’ Retirement System and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System agreed not to own stock in companies that make firearms illegal for sale in California. CalPERS subsequently sold $5 million worth of stock in Smith & Wesson and Sturm, Ruger. The teachers system sold $3 million worth of stock in the same two companies.
Both still own stock in Vista Outdoor, owner of gunmaker Savage Arms. Michael Sicilia, a spokesman for the teachers fund, said the company’s guns are legal for sale in California.
The University of California’s investment office got out of firearms lock, stock and barrel. “We determined that we did not want to be invested in these assets, period,” said Dianne Klein, a spokeswoman for the UC system. It dumped about $400,000 worth of stock in Smith & Wesson and an indirect investment in a firearms distributor.
At the time of the Sandy Hook murders, the UC, state teachers and San Francisco investment funds all had an indirect ownership in the nation’s largest gun conglomerate through private-equity firm Cerberus Capital Management. The conglomerate — then named Freedom Group, now named Remington Outdoor — owns Bushmaster, which made the semiautomatic rifle Lanza used. Shortly after those shootings, Cerberus announced it would sell Remington, but it never found a buyer.
UC had invested about $37 million with Cerberus, but because it did not control the fund that owned Remington, it could not get rid of that holding. Instead, it sold its entire investment in Cerberus to another investor by mid-2013, Klein said.
The teachers and San Francisco pension funds hung on until May 2015, when Cerberus gave certain investors a way to cash out of Remington. The teachers fund, which owned 2.4 percent of Remington, sold it back to Cerberus for an undisclosed amount.
The San Francisco fund got $44,462 for its interest in Remington, said Jay Huish, the system’s executive director.
The decision to exit Remington was made by the staff of the San Francisco system, not the board, said Huish. “We thought it was a prudent move to make.”
The fund also disposed of its stake in Smith & Wesson. It still owns Vista Outdoor and Orbital ATK (which makes ammunition sold to consumers) in funds that track the Russell 1000 value index. Its $268,000 holding in Sturm, Ruger was selected by one of the fund’s external investment managers.
Photo: Paul Chinn, The ChronicleSupport for gun control grew after the 2012 shooting at an elementary school that left 26 dead, most of them children.
Victor Makras is the board member who raised the gun-divestment issue at the March 2013 meeting. “I support divesting from firearms 100 percent,” Makras said. “Three years ago I made a proposal to our body to divest from firearms. It was brought up, it didn’t go anywhere.” He said he didn’t bring it up later, when he was board president, because “I did not believe the majority of the board would be supportive.”
Makras said he hopes the measure would have more support today, in response to the Orlando shooting that left 49 dead. But it’s not clear how popular it would be.
Wendy Paskin-Jordan, a current board member who was its president in March 2013, did not return phone calls.
Malia Cohen, the current president, was also a board member in 2013. As a San Francisco supervisor, she voted in favor of the original gun-divestment resolution. Cohen declined to comment on whether it should be revisited.
Board member Brian Stansbury, a San Francisco police sergeant, would only say, “Our responsibility as board members is to evaluate every investment and its risk to the retirement system.”
Board member Joseph Driscoll, a captain with the San Francisco Fire Department, said he would be against an absolute ban on all gun makers because “there are companies that make weapons for our soldiers, our sailors, to help defend our country.” He added that “there are responsible gun manufacturers.” He said the fund’s gun and ammo holdings are “worth another look,” but he is fine owning companies in an index fund. “When you own an index, you are taking a position in an industry or region (rather than an individual company). I’m OK with that.”
The San Francisco fund previously divested tobacco stocks, including ones held in index funds.
Board member Herb Meiberger said he doesn’t “comment on investments like this.” He noted that the board voted in December to sell certain coal stocks, but still hasn’t done it. (Huish said the staff will present a plan to divest from those stocks to the board in July or August.) Stansbury was the lone vote against the coal plan.
Board member Leona Bridges could not be reached for comment.
“It’s crazy for us to be invested in the gun manufacturing industry,” Makras said. “We should should take every step possible to protect life.”
Kathleen Pender is a San Francisco Chronicle columnist. Email: kpender [at] sfchronicle.com Twitter: kathpender
SF Police watchdog: SFPOA officer And SFERS Board Member wrongly arrested deputy public defender in courthouse
Deputy Public Defender Jami Tillotson, right, was arrested by Sgt. Brian Stansbury in the Hall of Justice in January 2015. (Courtesy photo)
By Jonah Owen Lamb on March 11, 2016 11:08 am
A deputy public defender was wrongly arrested by a San Francisco police officer when she tried to stop the officer from talking to her client in the Hall of Justice last year, the Police Department’s watchdog agency has determined.
But Deputy Public Defender Jami Tillotson is discouraged by the conclusion of the investigation into her arrest. She said that while the video clearly shows the officer was in the wrong when he handcuffed her, the findings seem to indicate there will be little to no accountability.
“If you give a citizen of San Francisco a black eye, you should be held accountable for that,” she said. “I’d like to see [the officer] at a desk job. I don’t think he has a good idea of the boundaries of his authority.”
The finding comes from the Office of Citizen Complaints, which investigated the January 2015 incident and issued their findings in December. The incident was caught on video.
Those case details were made public Friday by the complainant, and include findings that the officer made an arrest without cause, and that his detaining of a person without justification for a prolonged period was unwarranted.
Other allegations in the complaint were not sustained, but the OCC recommended that the department change its policies regarding interfering with a lawyer’s right to counsel their client and making inappropriate comments to the media.
The department could not say whether Chief Greg Suhr has made a ruling on the case. In sustained cases, the chief has the discretion to punish any officer for up to a 10-day suspension. Any punishment above that must go before the Police Commission.
Tillotson used to tell her clients that they should all file complaints with the OCC, despite many saying it was pointless. Now she agrees.
“I had more confidence in [the OCC] despite the fact that my clients were telling me it was a waste of time,” she said.
Tillotson was arrested Jan. 27, 2015, and booked on a misdemeanor resisting arrest charge for refusing to let a client of hers be questioned by a police investigator who was also trying to take pictures of the client.
The arresting officer, Sgt. Brian Stansbury, was questioning the man in connection with a separate criminal investigation.
Tillotson’s client was in court that day while she was in another courtroom for a case, when she heard that an officer was questioning her client in the hallway.
She walked into the hall and told her client he did not have to answer Stansbury’s questions, and tried to stop the officer from taking photographs. Stansbury objected and ultimately arrested her for resisting arrest and obstructing his investigation.
Since her arrest, the charges have been dropped and Suhr apologized for any distress the incident caused her, but has also insisted Stansbury had a reasonable suspicion to take the photos.
“I think this incident raises questions. Do the police have a practice of photographing people in courtrooms?” Alan Schlosser, the ACLU’s legal director for Northern California, previously said about the arrest of Tillotson.