Fire Commission - December 15, 2021

    Agenda

     

    SAN FRANCISCO Official Fire Department Seal FIRE COMMISSION

    Fire Commission Special meeting

    December 15, 2021 – 10:00 AM

    698 Second Street, Room 102, San Francisco, CA  94107

     

     

    AGENDA

    Remote Meeting via video and teleconferencing (see below phone number)

     

    This meeting is being held by WebEx pursuant to the Governor’s Executive Orders Mayoral Proclamations Declaring the Existence of a Local Emergency.

     

    During the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) emergency, the Fire Commission’s regular meeting room at City Hall is closed, and meetings of the Fire Commission will convene remotely.

    Participating During Public Comment: By Phone

     

    Public Comment Call in number is: 

     

    1-415-655-0001

    Access Code:  2483 078 9955

     

    Members of the public will have opportunities to participate during public comment. The public is asked to wait for the particular agenda item before making a comment on that item. Comments will be addressed in the order they are received. When the moderator announces that the Commission is taking public comment, members of the public can:

    1. Raise hand” by pressing * 3 and you will be queued.
    2. Callers will hear silence when waiting for your turn to speak. Operator will unmute you.
    3. When prompted, callers will have the standard three minutes to provide comment.
    • Ensure you are in a quiet location.
    • Speak clearly.
    • Turn off any TVs or radios around you.

     

     

    Item No.

     

    1. ROLL CALL
       

    President

    Katherine Feinstein

    Vice President

    Stephen A. Nakajo

    Commissioner

    Francee Covington

    Commissioner

    Ken Cleaveland

    Commissioner

    Arnie Morgan

     

    2.      Case No. 2021-04:  hearing and deliberations on verified complaint filed with the COMMISSION by chief of DEPARTMENT [Discussion and possible action]

    On October 19, 2021, Chief of Department Jeanine Nicholson filed a Verified Complaint with the Fire Commission against member for a non-punitive medical separation

     

    This case may be heard in Closed Session pursuant to Government Code Section 54957(b) and San Francisco Administrative Code Section 67.10(b).

     

    A.        Public Comment on Special Meeting Agenda Item; Possible Closed Session
     

    Members of the public may comment on all matters pertaining to Agenda Item 2 and whether to consider the matter in closed session.  [Government Code §54954.3(a), Administrative Code §67.15(b)]

    B.         Votes on Closed Session

     

                1.  Whether to hold the hearing on the verified complaint in closed session [Action]

     

                2. Whether to conduct deliberations in closed session [Action]

     

    C.         Hearing and Deliberations

     

                1. Hearing on verified complaint (in open or closed session, per the Commission’s vote)

     

                2. Deliberations and possible action on charges (in open or closed session, per the Commission’s vote) [Discussion and Possible Action]

     

    D.        If Closed Session is held, reconvene in Open Session

                1.  Report on any action taken in Closed Session as specified in California Government Code Section 54957.1(a)(5) and San Francisco Administrative Code section 67.12(b)(4).

                2.  Vote to elect whether to disclose any or all discussions held in Closed Session, as specified in San Francisco Administrative Code Section 67.12(a).  [Action Item]
     

    3.         ADJOURNMENT

     

    San Francisco Fire Commission

     

     

    NOTICE OF COMMISSION PROCEDURES

     

     

    Commission Meeting Schedule and Location

     

    The Fire Commission will meet regularly on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month at San Francisco City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, San Francisco, CA 94102. The second Wednesday in Room 416 at 9:00 a.m. and the fourth Wednesday in Room 400 at 5:00 p.m.

     

    Commission Office

     

    The Fire Commission Office is located at 698 Second Street, Room 220, San Francisco, CA 94107. The Fire Commission telephone number is (415) 558-3451; the fax number is (415) 558-3413. The web address is http://sf-fire.org/fire-commission-home.  Office hours are from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.

     

    Language Access

     

    Per the Language Access Ordinance (Chapter 91 of the San Francisco Administrative Code), Chinese, Spanish and or Filipino (Tagalog) interpreters will be available upon requests. Meeting Minutes may be translated, if requested, after they have been adopted by the Commission.  Assistance in additional languages may be honored whenever possible. To request assistance with these services please contact the Commission Secretary at (415) 558-3451, or fire.commission@sfgov.org at least 48 hours in advance of the hearing.  Late requests will be honored if possible.

     

    Information on Disability Access

     

    The hearing rooms in City Hall are wheelchair accessible.  The closest accessible BART station is the Civic Center Station at United Nations Plaza and Market Street. Accessible MUNI lines serving this location are: #42 Downtown Loop, and #71 Haight/Noriega and the F Line to Market and Van Ness and the Metro Stations at Van Ness and Market and at Civic Center. For information about MUNI accessible services call (415) 923-6142. There is accessible curbside parking adjacent to City Hall on Grove Street and Van Ness Avenue and in the vicinity of the Veterans Building at 401 Van Ness Avenue adjacent to Davies Hall and the War Memorial Complex.  For more information about MUNI accessible services, call (415) 701-4485.

     

    To obtain a disability-related modification or accommodation, including auxiliary aids or services, to participate in the meeting, please contact the Commission Secretary at least two business days before the meeting at (415) 558-3451 to make arrangements.  Late requests will be honored, if possible.

     

    To assist the City’s efforts to accommodate persons with severe allergies, environmental illnesses, multiple chemical sensitivity or related disabilities, attendees at public meetings are reminded that other attendees may be sensitive to various chemical-based products. Please help the City to accommodate these individuals.

     

    Policy on use of Cell Phones, Pagers and Similar Sound-Producing Electronic Devices at and During Public Meetings

     

    The ringing and use of cell phones, pagers and similar sound-producing electronic devices are prohibited at Fire Commission meetings. Please be advised that the Chair may order the removal from the meeting room of any person(s) responsible for the ringing or use of a cell phone, pager, or other similar sound-producing electronic device.

     

    Documents for Public Inspection

     

    Documents referred to in this agenda, if not otherwise exempt from disclosure, are available for public inspection and copying at the Fire Commission Office.  If any materials related to an item on this agenda are distributed to the Fire Commission after distribution of the agenda packet, those materials, if not otherwise exempt from disclosure, are also available for public inspection at the Fire Commission Office, 698 Second Street, room 220, San Francisco, during normal office hours.

     

    Know Your Rights under the Sunshine Ordinance

    (Chapter 67 of the San Francisco Administrative Code)

     

    Government's duty is to serve the public, reaching its decisions in full view of the public. Commissions, boards, councils and other agencies of the City and County exist to conduct the people’s business. This ordinance assures that deliberations are conducted before the people and that City operations are open to the people’s review.  For more information on your rights under the sunshine ordinance or to report a violation of the ordinance, contact the sunshine ordinance task force. You may contact the Sunshine Ordinance Task Force Administrator, as follows: Sunshine Ordinance Task Force, City Hall, Room 244, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, San Francisco, CA 94102-4689, Phone: (415) 554-7724, Fax: (415) 554-5784, E-mail: sotf@sfgov.org. Copies of the Sunshine Ordinance can be obtained from the Clerk of the Sunshine Task Force, the San Francisco Public Library and on the City’s Web site at http://www.sfgov.org.

     

    San Francisco Lobbyist Ordinance

     

    Individuals and entities that influence or attempt to influence local policy or administrative action may be required by the San Francisco Lobbyist Ordinance (San Francisco Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code sections 2.100 – 2.160) to register and report lobbying activity. For more information about the Lobbyist Ordinance, please contact the Ethics Commission at 30 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 3900, San Francisco, CA 94102, telephone (415) 581-2300, fax (415) 581-2317 and Web site: http://www.sfgov.org/ethics/.

     

     

     

     

    SAN FRANCISCO Official Fire Department Seal FIRE COMMISSION

    FOR Fire Commission Special meeting

    December 15, 2021 – 10:00 AM

    698 Second Street, Room 102, San Francisco, CA  94107

     

     

    President Feinstein called the meeting to order at 10:03 A.M.

     

    Item No.

    1. ROLL CALL
       

    President

    Katherine Feinstein

    Vice President

    Stephen A. Nakajo

    Commissioner

    Francee Covington

    Commissioner

    Ken Cleaveland

    Commissioner

    Arnie Morgan

     

    Also present was:

     

    Court Reporter Veronica Guerrero

    Deputy City Attorney Brad Russi

    Deputy City Attorney Jennifer Stoughton

    Commission Secretary Maureen Conefrey

    Chief of Department appeared at 11:11 a.m.

     

    2.      Case No. 2021-04:  hearing and deliberations on verified complaint filed with the COMMISSION by chief of DEPARTMENT [Discussion and possible action]

    On October 19, 2021, Chief of Department Jeanine Nicholson filed a Verified Complaint with the Fire Commission against member for a non-punitive medical separation

     

    This case may be heard in Closed Session pursuant to Government Code Section 54957(b) and San Francisco Administrative Code Section 67.10(b).

     

    A.        Public Comment on Special Meeting Agenda Item; Possible Closed Session
     

    Members of the public may comment on all matters pertaining to Agenda Item 2 and whether to consider the matter in closed session.  [Government Code §54954.3(a), Administrative Code §67.15(b)]
     

    Marie Kricken wife of Firefighter Michael Kricken stated the following: “My name is Marie Kirken. I'm the wife of Michael Kirken. He's been a dedicated firefighter in San Francisco for over 17 years, and so I wish to submit my public comment. The TCSF and Chief Nicholson threatened a imposition of interim unpaid suspension against those firefighters who remain vaccine free of COVID-19 EUA, or emergency use authorization injection.  TCSF and Chief Nicholson cannot satisfy the requisite statutory conditions in the San Francisco City Charter to the Administrative Code or/and general orders establishing that these firefighters constitute an immediate danger to the health or safety of the general public or to fellow employees or that pressing circumstances exist which justify deprivation of up to 30 days of their regular salaries and benefits. However, now we're past the 30 days of deprivation --just my last comment is that there are pressing circumstances exist which justify the deprivation of up to 30 days of their regular salaries and benefits. However, now, we're past the 30 days of deprivation of pay, and these firefighters are still without proper hearing, without pay, without work, and most importantly, without any answers from either Local Union 798, HR, TCSF, and the Fire Commission.  These unpaid suspensions are predetermined terminations, and my hope is to just gain clarification here. These firefighters were not able to exercise their procedural due process rights, no true Skelly hearing, and have yet to receive a supposed trial hearing by the Fire Commission based on – on Chief Nicholson's recommendation of separation from employment. This is absolutely unlawful. This submission of my public comment to support the vote on an open session, if it is, in fact, for this, is to provide public with full transparency on this case, if it is, and the complaint that was filed by Chief Nicholson, if that should arise in another -- in another hearing.”

    Caller Five stated: “The fire chief is overstepping her reach, especially since all of other Bay Area departments have been able to secure testing and masking for the employees. Please think of this:  Does the City and County of San Francisco want to take on the burden of trying to justify an illegal mandate regarding an emergency use vaccine?  There have been zero cases of first responders infecting the public.  Not to mention that we are not following the science by denying natural immunity or the fact that we worked together through the majority of pandemic without having a vaccine. Why are firefighters being vilified now? Firefighters are losing their job based off a vaccine that can no longer stop the spread, and the vaccinated -- and the unvaccinated can   contract the virus all the same according to the recent e-mail from the fire department doctor.

     

    B.         Votes on Closed Session

     

                1.  Whether to hold the hearing on the verified complaint in closed session [Action]

     

    Commissioner Covington Moved to hold the hearing in closed session.  Commissioner Cleaveland.   Seconded.   The motion was unanimous.

     

    The commission went into closed session at 10:19 a.m.

     

    1. Whether to conduct deliberations in closed session [Action]

     

    Deliberations began at 11:39

     

    C.         Hearing and Deliberations

     

                1. Hearing on verified complaint (in open or closed session, per the Commission’s vote)

     

                2. Deliberations and possible action on charges (in open or closed session, per the Commission’s vote) [Discussion and Possible Action]

     

    D.        If Closed Session is held, reconvene in Open Session

                1.  Report on any action taken in Closed Session as specified in California Government Code Section 54957.1(a)(5) and San Francisco Administrative Code section 67.12(b)(4).

     

    The Commission Reconvened in open session at 11:50 a.m.

     

    Commissioner Covington Moved to uphold Chief Nicholson’s recommendation to medically separate member from the position as a San Francisco Fire Fighter.  The Commission also instructed the Department to prepare proposed Findings of Fact to support this decision and submit the Findings to the Commission and to member no later than January 27, 2022.  Pursuant to Rule XIV.B of the Procedural Rules member will have until February 4, 2022, to submit a response to the proposed Findings if member wishes.  The Commission plans to consider the proposed Findings for adoption at the Regular Commission meeting on February 9, 2022.

                2.  Vote to elect whether to disclose any or all discussions held in Closed Session, as specified in San Francisco Administrative Code Section 67.12(a).  [Action Item]
     

    Commissioner Cleaveland Moved to not disclose discussions held in closed session.  Commissioner Morgan Seconded.   The motion was unanimous.

     

    1. ADJOURNMENT

    Commissioner Covington Moved to adjourn the meeting.  Commissioner Cleaveland Seconded.  The motion was unanimous.  President Feinstein adjourned the meeting at 11:52 a.m.