San Francisco mag got Assemblyman Tom Ammiano on the horn to talk about the controversy surrounding restaurants pocketing leftover Healthy SF fees, and he's not pleased: "It's chicken shit," Ammiano told reporter Scott Lucas. "I take it personally, and I think my feelings reflect those of the San Francisco public."
Ammiano was the original architect of the Healthy SF bill, and he was engaged in a long battle with the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, who filed suit in 2006 to end the program, eventually losing the case in 2010 when the Supreme Court declined to hear their appeal. "There has been a lot of pushback," Ammiano told Lucas. "That's part of the process. But this is puerile. It's no surprise to me that many of the restaurants on the list now were part of the group that sued and lost."
Ammiano also had harsh words for restaurants in the original Chron article that called out the offenders: "Requiring these people to pay restitution is a compromise. If it was up to me, I'd throw them in jail."
UPDATE: Lucas updated his article with a response from Rob Black of the GGRA: "Assemblymember Ammiano admits that he is both politically and personally biased on this issue, so his comments should be taken with a grain of salt and probably a shot of tequila. It is incredibly irresponsible for an elected official to accuse someone of criminal behavior when they have no facts on which to base the accusation. Fortunately City Attorney Herrera has committed to a fair, fact-based inquiry—not a personal vendetta against local businesses. Once the City Attorney completes his review, we believe that the vast majority of businesses currently under scrutiny will be cleared of any intentional wrong doing."
Previously: Have Restaurants Been Pocketing Healthy SF Fees? [~ ESF ~]