California. Grand Jury (San Francisco).

Civil Grand Jury reports (Volume 1976-77) online

. (page 22 of 32)
Online LibraryCalifornia. Grand Jury (San Francisco)Civil Grand Jury reports (Volume 1976-77) → online text (page 22 of 32)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


clients.

The clerical pool Is composed of six typists, which hard-
ly seems adequate with a staff of sixty-three officers and trainees,
who handled a case load of over 8,000 cases, all units combined.

We urge consideration of the following recommendations:

1. Provide, at the least, sound-proof cubicles for the
Interviewing of clients.

2. Purchase better equipment to withstand the constant
hard use the machines are given. This should include dictaphones,
and word processing machines, as part of an increased typing pool,
which would free officers from clerical duties.

3. No attempt will be made by us to solve the Civil
Service problem of temporary status which has been in litigation
for several years. We do urge a rapid and workable solution to the
obvious dilemma faced by City personnel.

While the Adult Probation Department has faced the prob-
lems of low employee morale and inadequate facilities for its
clients, the department deserves praise for its high level of de-
votion to duty.



THE SUPERIOR COURT

The Superior Court, with Judge Lawrence S. Mana,
Presiding Judge, has courtrooms located in the City Hall, Hall
of Justice, California Hall and the Youth Guidance Center.
The yearly budget for 1977-78 was $4,480,463. The Superior Court
has maintained its efficiently run court calendar, which has been
a source of pride In the past.

We decided that a look at the Civil Grand Jury as a
whole, might be in order. We would like at this time to present
a few suggestions to Judge Mana, and his colleagues, regarding
the Civil Grand Jury.

It has come to our attention, in the past year, that

-103-



THE SUPERIOR COURT (continued)

many of the recommendations made by past Grand Juries have not
been followed.

A prime example of this is the letter written by
Mr. Robert Graham, the foreman of the 1976-77 Civil Grand
Jury, to Presiding Superior Court Judge Henry Rolph. In his
letter Mr. Graham mentioned many of the things which have
continued to frustrate us, as Civil Grand Jurors, this year.

Unfortunately, it was realized by some of us, far
into our term, that a lack of time for our duties was an
increasing problem. Most of us were employed, and many of us
were students. While many faced this problem, there were a
few who were not able to cope with it. Several people left
the Grand Jury mid-way into the term, one for lack of time,
and several for personal reasons. A long period of time
elapsed before the alternates became members and this caused
further problems. Some of us were on committees chaired by
the jurors, which caused some anxiety and frustration. We
were advised to wait a little longer before we attempted to
begin investigations without a chairman. (With a little more
than six months to investigate some of the departments, we
felt a great deal of pressure.) We continued to question our
advisor about when the Jurors could be expected, and were told
that he had communicated our feelings to Judge Mana. We are
fully aware of the pressing schedule of the Judges, especially
the presiding Judge, but we still feel that more attention
should have been given to this issue.

We would like to recommend that prospective Grand
Jurors be made acutely aware of the dimensions of the commit-
ment they are accepting. Perhaps the present Jury might have
an opportunity to speak with newly-sworn Grand Jury members
regarding problems we faced, and present suggestions we might
have. This might make the awesome-looking duties somewhat
clearer and less foreboding.

In the event that some of the original Jurors are
unable to complete their terms, we recommend that the alternates
be sworn in without delay. This should help the alternates
in adjusting to their new roles, as well as keeping the Jury,
as a body, working in an expedient manner.

We will not attempt to cite any other examples of
Grand Jury recommendations not being followed. We would like
to say that this problem creates a feeling of frustration and
futility for the people who have devoted a year of their time
to performing investigations and making recommendations. If
our investigations and recommendations are not given serious
consideration, then a great deal of our time and the taxpayer's

-104-



THE SUPERIOR COURT (continued)

money is being wasted. We realize that immediate action cannot
be taken on all recommendations. We can accept this as long
as we are provided an explanation.

In conclusion, we would like to thank the City and
County of San Prancisoo for providing us with this very unique
and educational opportunity to perform our civic duty.



MUNICIPAL COURT



The Municipal Court, with Judge Frank E. Hart pre-
siding, is responsible for providing court services of the
following nature: civil cases where the amount in controversy
is less than $5,000; criminal cases including misdemeanors and
felony preliminary hearings ; and traffic citations .

The Court operated on a budget of $6, 597, 264 in
Fiscal Year 1977-1978, with a staff of nineteen Judges.

Several programs have been recently instituted. An
experimental Small Claims program by the San Francisco Bar
Association and the Court, funded by the San Francisco Associa-
tion, was tried for a period of a year and expires on July 1,
1978. It opened a Small Claims Court on Saturday but received
poor response from the public.

The new Brown Experimental Bill provides better
public service, in that, it must operate a minimum of one
Monday evening court and one Saturday court . In June , the
court will be open on two Monday evenings, and in July on two
Saturdays. Two attorneys will be available to assist in the
filing of claims, and to answer legal questions. The first
Monday evening court had seventeen cases scheduled, and had
fourteen contestants show up. This program will expire in
April of 1979.

In both experimental programs, the judges received
no additional pay for their services.

The instant traffic program has also provided
additional service for the public. When a citation is issued,
the driver may go to court the same day for a hearing with
a minimal wait if he so elects, or pay his fine.

The present computer traffic citation system has been
found to be costly and complicated; and a study by Coopers

-105-



MUNICIPAL COURT (continued)

and Lybrand Consulting Firm suggested a simpler program for
the large volume of traffic citations processed. The program
would reduce cost and complication by simplifying manual and
computer operations to process a large number of traffic
citations.

Some problems facing Municipal Court are lack of
storage, lack of availability of floating bailiffs, and a gen-
eral lack of security for criminal cases which overflow into
City Hall.

Microfilming of records is a possible solution to
the space problem; but two conflicting laws on destruction of
records are preventing optimum use of microfilm. Microfilm can
be used as primary evidence in court; but until the conflict is
resolved, original records must be stored in the basement of
City Hall and Bekins .

The courts are now utilizing three bailiffs who
"float" between courts during civil hearings. The system works
well with the exception of criminal cases which are frequently
tried in City Hall. A buzzer system which would summon all
bailiffs to a particular area is being worked on; but a date
for completion has not yet been set.

Criminal cases provide a general security problem as
City Hall is not equipped with maximum security facilities,
such as separate elevators, corridors, and secure holding
cells for accused felons. This presents a problem for securing
prisoners, and endangers the public.

We recommend the following:

1. Press for a solution to the legal aspects of
microfilming records.

2. Have the buzzer system installed without further
delay. This should be made a priority item for the engineering
department as public safety is involved.

3. The security problem should solve itself when the
new Wing of the Hall of Justice is completed, and the overflow
problem is solved. This will also, hopefully free one of the
present courts being used to try criminal cases for a Jury
waiting room. In the interim, we recommend a bailiff in each
court room trying criminal cases, as is now being done, and
installation of the aforementioned buzzer system.

In conclusion, we would like to commend Judge Hart

-106-



MUNICIPAL COURT (continued)

and his staff of their progress in dealing effectively with
their problems.



YOUTH GUIDANCE CENTER AND JUVENILE COURT



The Youth Guidance Center and Juvenile Court are
located at 375 Woodside Avenue and are headed by Joseph J.
Kennedy, Presiding Judge, and Joseph Botka, Chief Probation
Officer. They provide court services, probation services,
detention, private placement and crisis intervention of law
offenders under eighteen years of age. Their budget for the
1977-78 was $7,781,500.

There were 133^ Juvenile petitions for law violations
filed during the calendar year 1977. The highest incidents
of offenses were in the areas of robbery, burglary, and thefts.
The highest number of offenses committed took place in the
age group fourteen to seventeen years.

Juvenile Hall provides temporary detention for an
average of forty-five Juveniles per day for periods usually
not exceeding eight days . Since the passage of AB 3121 which
requires that status offenders be housed in an open setting
separate from that of delinquent offenders , one of the cottages
has been turned into an open cottage with co-ed population and
staff. A new program was developed for status offenders in the
community-based detention facility run by Youth Advocates under
a federal grant.

Log Cabin and Hidden Valley Ranches provide housing,
detention, and education for the offender, who, in the court's
opinion, will benefit by longer periods of being away from his
usual environment .

Log Cabin Ranch, under the capable and devoted
direction of Mr. James Licavoli , is located in La Honda. It
has a capacity of eighty-six students with an average daily
population of fifty-eight. They range in age from sixteen to
eighteen. With eight new supervisory management personnel,
the whole ranch program has been upgraded since the Teledyne
Fiasco mentioned in the 1976-1977 Grand Jury Report. Log
Cabin takes youths from counties which have no detention
facilities and charges the counties $725.00 per month. Hidden
Valley located on the same property also operates such a
program. The fees go into the City's general fund.

We thought, based on the great progress made in

-107-



YOUTH GUIDANCE CENTER AND JUVENILE COURT (continued)

reading levels of the students, that the San Francisco Unified
School District has provided a sound educational program for
the Ranches .

In general, we found a reasonably happy population
at Log Cabin Ranch. The boys are housed in dormitories which
seem to satisfy their needs. They are provided with a variety
of activities, and make good use of the facilities. Their
weight-lifting room, which is a converted shack with a concrete
floor, needs minimal repairs such as painting, and the repair
of holes in the floor and walls.

Log Cabin Ranch has an enthusiastic staff that is
sympathetic to the needs of the students, and capable of ful-
filling them. They are to be highly commended for their
worthwhile efforts and their low runaway rate (six students in
one year's time).

Hidden Valley Ranch is directed by Mr. Donald Carlson.
Its capacity was lowered from one hundred to sixty-five to
provide a lower ratio of students to teachers. They have an
intensive reading program using books, which are primarily
donated to them. They also provide many field trips and
activities for the boys.

Hidden Valley has a higher incidence of runaways than
Log Cabin. The problem possibly stems from previous placements
in other out-of-home facilities , and the immaturity of the age
group, which is twelve to sixteen years of age. They had
twenty-four runaways in a three month period; most of them
repeaters .

Probation Services provide both probation officers to
work with offenders and a Family Crisis Intervention Division.
This unit strives to prevent detention of Juveniles by dealing
with parent-child problems through casework, and utilizes
Social Services to intervene in child neglect and abuse problems

Private placement of Juveniles who must be removed
from their families but who do not require detention is
another service provided by the Youth Guidance Center. The
placement of youths in Bay Area group homes and boarding
schools rather than Northern and Southern California facilities
utilizes community and family resources. It facilitates the
child's return to his local community.

The department received ten new vehicles which it
was promised by the City. This should greatly relieve the
problem of officers using their own vehicles for the transpor-
tation of the youths. It eliminates the danger of unsafe

-108-



YOUTH GUIDANCE CENTER AND JUVENILE COURT (continued)

vehicles formerly used by the department.

This department must also deal with the frustrating
problem of temporary positions. We urge prompt resolution
of this problem through the Civil Service Department.

Recommendations

Despite the fact that the educational program at the
ranch was adequate, we felt additional emphasis should be
placed on vocational training.

The auto shop teacher was on disability for a period
of a year and a half. A substitute was not hired because of
the possibility of the teacher returning to work. We felt that
the School Board was somewhat remiss in not finding a more
rapid solution to the problem. Services which were being paid
for were not being provided. The problem has since been
partially resolved. The auto shop teacher has resigned and
has not been replaced.

Funds for a full time registered nurse have been
approved in the 1977-78 Budget. This should further reduce
the number of visits into the City for medical attention.

This committee also feels that a policy to hold
status offenders for twenty-four hours to ascertain whether
or not there are any warrants against them should be adopted.

Dealing with the problems of Juvenile offenders is
a complex subject and we feel that Judge Kennedy, Mr. Botka,
and their staffs, deserve a great deal of credit for their
patience and diligence in dealing with these problems.



LAW LIBRARY



The Law Library, located in City Hall, with a branch
in Mills Tower is headed by Harold Rowe, librarian-secretary.
There are sixteen employees in both branches. Over fifty
percent of the people who use the Law Library are lay people.
During Fiscal Year 1977-78 the Law Library received $310,300
in Municipal and Superior Court filing fees, interest from
U.S. Bonds, utility bonds, savings accounts, and interest from
miscellaneous income. In addition to fees and other income a
total of $82,573 was appropriated by the City and County,
including mandatory fringe benefits.

-109-



LAW LIBRARY (continued)

The net expenditures for both branches were
$313,771.

A total of 254,289 volumes and 3,860 periodicals,
texts, reports, and other miscellaneous volumes are con-
tained in both branches, according to the most recent figures.

Due to the large number of volumes contained, and
limited space available, many books are not shelved and can
be found in large piles on the floor. They are, however,
catalogued correctly, so they can be easily located by persons
using the library.

A point of great interest to us was the collection
of old and rare books housed by the Law Library. One of the
volumes was pre-Guttenburg Press, with hand-written illuminated
capitals and hand-numbered pages . These volumes are not in
locked cases. Mr. Rowe felt that locking them up would serve
to draw attention to their value, thus, making them a mark for
theft.

This Committee felt that the lack of space was the
big problem faced by the Law Library. Each year, an increasing
number of volumes and periodicals must be purchased to keep the
resources current. Storage of books and periodicals in other
facilities seems impractical as they should be available at all
times for reference.

We do not wish to disagree with Mr. Rowe but we feel
that the rare volumes he has should be kept in a more secure
setting.

We wish to commend Mr. Rowe and his staff on the
accessibility of volumes despite the obvious lack of shelving
available. We highly recommend that some provisions be made
to eliminate this problem.

Perhaps one of the soon-to-be vacated court rooms in
City Hall could be divided by the use of partitions. One half
could then be used by the Law Library and the other as a Jury
room for the use of the Courts.



Margarita V. Tallerico
Steven H. Rosen

Jane F. Reeve, Chairman
-110-



/



79



1978-79

CIVIL






L'BUC LI'



GRAND JURY
REPORTS




CITY AND COUNTY OF
SAN FRANCISCO



CALIFORNIA



FINAL 1978-79 CIVIL GRAND JURY REPORTS
TABLE OF CONTENTS

V Foreman's Letter to the Presiding Judge

VI Introduction

96 Adult Probation Department

31 Aging, Commission on the

52 Agriculture and Weights and Measures, Department of

11 Airport

72 Animal Control Center

4 Art Commission

71 Asian Art Museum

90 Assessor

6 Board of Education

69 California Academy of Sciences

42 Chief Administrative Officer

75 City Attorney

26 City Planning, Department of

36 Civil Service Commission

8 Community College District

2 Controller

46 Coroner

52 County Clerk

76 District Attorney

45 Electricity, Department of

-I-



TABLE OF CONTENTS (continued)

3 Electronic Data Processing

10 Emergency Services

70 Pine Arts Museums

50 Finance and Records, Department of
9 Fire Department

33 Health Service System

29 Human Rights Commission

100 Law Library

1 Mayor

98 Municipal Court

22 Municipal Railway

26 Parking Authority

15 Permit Appeals, Board of

13 Police Department

17 Port Commission

51 Public Administrator - Public Guardian
79 Public Defender

54 Public Health, Department of

15 Public Library

39 Public Service Employees - CETA

59 Public Works, Department of

57 Purchasing Department

6l Real Estate Department

51 Recorder

27 Recreation and Park Department

-II-



TABLE OF CONTENTS (continued)

51 Registrar of Voters

34 Retirement System

83 Sheriff

29 Social Services, Department of

92 Superior Court

64 Supervisors, Board of

50 Tax Collector

90 Treasurer

19 War Memorial

31 Women, Commission on the Status of

94 Youth Guidance Center and Juvenile Court



-III-



MEMBERS OF THE 1978-79

CIVIL GRAND JURY

IN AND FOR THE

CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO

Mrs. Flora Aramian Miss Vivian M. Kalil

John S. Collins William D. Kremen

Mrs. Clara T. Delgado William Noaks

Charles K. Desler Morris Rabkin

Miss Elizabeth A. Dowd Mrs. Genelle Relfe

Miss Edith T. Griego Mrs. Mildred D. Rogers

Frank Harrison Mrs. Rebecca S. Turner

Marvin Jones Mrs. Blossie C. Williams

Miss Olimpia M. Xavier

Mrs. Kay L. Galloway, Secretary
Robert W. Ecoff, Foreman

Impaneled, July 6, 1978 Discharged, June 30, 1979



-IV-



OFFICE

Room 163. City Hall
Telephone- 558-S010



CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO
GRAND JURY



Honorable Francis J. Mayer
Presiding Judge, Superior Court
City and County of San Francisco
Room 457, City Hall
San Francisco, California, 94102

Dear Judge Mayer:

On behalf of the members of the 1978-79 Civil Grand Jury
I am submitting to you their Final Reports.

Jury members have been conscientious in the preparation
of these reports. However, it is impossible to make a complete
and thorough investigation of a government as complex as San
Francisco by so few in such a short period of time.

At the time members are chosen to serve on the Grand Jury
we believe more stress should be given to three areas of their
interest. First, is the considerable amount of time and effort
that is required of each participant. Second, the effect of
Section 930 of the Penal Code as it relates to reports, should
be thoroughly explained. This point has been elaborated on in
the introduction of the report. Lastly, it should be made clear
that each year investigations should be concentrated upon the
Major Departments of the City and County Governments, other de-
partments to be investigated only every fourth year.

The Jury would particularly like to express its thanks and
appreciation to Mr. Michael Tamony and his staff for their
active assistance and support.

I would especially like to thank the members of this Jury for
their dedication, cooperation and support during this last year.
Each one has made his or her own unique contribution, not only
to the final report, but also to the many meetings and discussions
held throughout the year.

We hope our findings and recommendations will be beneficial.



Sincerely,



1$at0




Robert W. Eq*£*, Foreman
1978-79 Civil Grand Jury



-V-



INTRODUCTION

During the term of this Grand Jury three events have taken
place which have had an influence on these reports.

First - the implementation of Proposition B severely limited
the budget of the various departments. Although we understand these
restrictions, recommendations have been made for additional money in
those cases where we believe it is warranted. Also areas have been
pointed where we believe funds can be saved.

Second - the tragic deaths of Mayor Moscone and Supervisor
Milk have had a tremendous impact on the city.

Last - the riot at City Hall on the evening of May 21st.
As a result of this occurance the Jury spent much of the remaining
month of its term investigating the events that occurred at City Hall
that evening. We felt that we had a duty to the citizens of San Fran-
cisco to do this before the circumstances became obscured with the
passing of time. Also it was our opinion that it would take a new
Grand Jury time to obtain the investigative experience we had pro-
cured throughout the year. Unfortunately the investigation was not
completed. A request to extend the time of this Grand Jury 30 days
was denied by the Presiding Judge. Sworn testimony and documents
pertinent to the investigation are being forwarded to the Presiding
Judge. These consist of:

(1). Eight booklets of transcribed testimonies, a total of
585 pages.

(2). Exhibit A, A poster announcing a demonstration after
the Dan White verdict.

(3). Exhibit B, the Incident Report of the San Francisco
Fire Department for May 21 and 22, 1979.

(4). Major Incident Report City Hall Riot 05/21/79 to 05/22
79> San Francisco Police Department.

(5). A list of estimated cost of repairs to buildings in
Civic Center by the Department of Public Works.

(6). A letter dated June 15, 1979 from the Director of

Public Works to the Chief Administrative Officer re-
garding City Hall Sound System, and one hundred and
twenty-one police photographs of events at City Hall on
May 21st.

Therefore, we strongly urge the incoming Civil Grand Jury
to make the completion of this investigation one of their
first orders of business.



-VI-



INTRODUCTION (continued)

The Grand Jury System

This Grand Jury strongly recommends that the Board of
Supervisors pass a resolution urging the State Legislature to revise
parts of the Civil Grand Jury System.

First, we believe that Section 930 of the Penal Code should
be amended. This section is incompatible with the oath taken by
Civil Grand Jurors. Section 930 states that: "If any Grand Jury
shall . . . comment upon any person or official who has not been indicted
by such Grand Jury such comments shall not be deemed to be privileged."
However, the oath taken by Civil Grand Jurors states that they "...
will diligently inquire into, and true presentment make, of ...
matters ... subject to investigation..." It further states that
jurors will not leave any department or governmental entity unin-
vestigated through, fear but in all presentments will present the truth
according to the best of their skill and understanding.

The effect of Section 930 is to inhibit a true presentation
of all the facts when the possibility of libelous action exists,
even when groundless. We are of the very firm opinion that the re-
moval of civil immunity from Grand Jurors is a strong deterrent to
the effective performance of their task.

Second, we urge that legislation be enacted to carry the ex-
pertise of the outgoing Grand Jury to the incoming one. Assembly Bill
No. l80Q, which has been referred to the State Assembly's Committee
on Criminal Justice, is one means by which this can be accomplished.



Online LibraryCalifornia. Grand Jury (San Francisco)Civil Grand Jury reports (Volume 1976-77) → online text (page 22 of 32)