San Francisco Gets New Assessor

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San Francisco Mayor London Breed this week appointed Assessor-Recorder Carmen Chu to the post of city administrator and selected Joaquin Torres, director of the city’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development, to fill the assessor vacancy.

The moves are part of a shakeup of city government prompted by a corruption scandal. Chu will replace Naomi Kelly, who is resigning effective February 1 in the wake of prosecutors charging her husband, former San Francisco Public Utilities Commission General Manager Harlan Kelly, with being part of a bribery scheme.

Torres has served as the city’s director of economic development since 2018. He will fill the remainder of Chu’s term, which ends next year.

“Joaquín Torres is a dedicated public servant who has been working tirelessly over the last year to help our City navigate this pandemic,” Breed said in a written statement. “He has a wealth of experience working with businesses both large and small, as well as communities throughout our entire City that are too often ignored, and he understands how important this office is to our economic recovery. I know Joaquín will build on the incredible work that Carmen Chu has started to strengthen the Assessor-Recorder’s Office.”

Chu has served as assessor since 2013, when she was appointed to the post by Mayor Ed Lee. She was elected in 2014 and 2018. (Sources: News release from Mayor London Breed, January 27; San Francisco Chronicle, January 27.)