Bay Citizen: Lobbyist/Consultant Resigns Over Stow Lake Ethics Controversy

Herrera Consultant Tourk Resigns

Gerry Shih ~ May 10, 2011

Alex Tourk, a consultant for City Attorney Dennis Herrera’s mayoral campaign, resigned Tuesday morning amid mounting press scrutiny of his lobbying activities, Herrera campaign spokeswoman Jill Nelson confirmed.

Tourk’s resignation came a day after the Bay Citizen and the San Francisco Chronicle reported that he apparently failed to disclose lobbying contacts he made with park commissioners on behalf of a company seeking concession rights at Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park. Failure to disclose lobbying contacts is a violation of city law that carries a penalty of $10,000 per instance.

“A series of newspaper stories about the recent work of my firm, Ground Floor Public Affairs, have become an unnecessary distraction for the campaign,” Tourk said in a statement shortly before noon Tuesday. “Dennis Herrera needs to continue spending his time articulating his inspiring vision for making San Francisco work. Any time spent answering questions about me and my firm take him away from that important task.”

The reports about his apparent violations published on Tuesday followed a series of articles last week focusing on Tourk’s lobbying practices, which first came to light after a cache of private e-mails related to the Stow Lake bid were made public as part of a lawsuit.

In addition, The San Francisco Chronicle reported last week that Tourk had lobbied Herrera about several city projects while also working for him as a campaign consultant, an apparent violation of city ethics laws.

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