OPEN GOVERNMENT -- San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera has announced the appointment of a
City Attorney's Stimulus Spending Task Force "to coordinate legal
compliance by city departments, and guarantee maximum transparency,
efficiency and accountability for city investments made possible by the
federal government's recently enacted $787 billion economic stimulus
The Task Force is meant to combine the office's expertise and experience in such areas contracts and
grants; Sunshine and open government; construction and public works;
land use and environment; federal funds compliance; and fraud
investigations and litigation. It's been charged with
scrutinizing the entire lifecycle of projects funded by federal
stimulus moniesfrom grant applications, through federal audit
processes, to final "deliverables."
The following are Herrera's appointees to the City Attorney's Stimulus Spending Task Force:
* Deputy City Attorney Robert Maerz leads Herrera's Airport Team, where he serves as general counsel to San Francisco International Airport, a public enterprise with annual revenue in excess of $650 million. Maerz will chair Herrera's task force. An acknowledged expert in public contracting, procurement, and regulatory matters, Maerz played a key role in successfully concluding Herrera's fraud litigation against Tutor-Saliba Corp., which the City settled in 2006 for $19 million.
* Deputy City Attorney Sheryl Bregman serves on Herrera's Construction Team, where she provides transactional advice on public works, including professional design and construction procurement, contracts, and prevailing wage enforcement claims. Since joining the office in 1995, she has represented the City in numerous litigation and administrative hearing matters, and has drafted legislation governing public works contracting, false claims and contractor debarment.
* Deputy City Attorney Ronald Flynn serves on Herrera's Complex and Special Litigation Team. An experienced trial lawyer who has overseen complex litigation matters in federal and state courts, Flynn has worked on a number of large litigation matters involving allegations of public works fraud. He also serves on Herrera's Affirmative Litigation Task Force, which investigates and files suit on matters involving consumer protection, public health and other important public policy priorities.
* Deputy City Attorney Andrew Shen serves on Herrera's Ethics Team. A specialist in conflict of interest, government ethics and open government law, Shen serves as legal counsel to San Francisco's Ethics Commission, Elections Department and Elections Commission. He has developed citywide training materials for the office's Sunshine and Ethics Training for city officials and employees, and is co-editor of the City Attorney's Good Government Guide.
* Policy and Grants Manager Cynthia Caporizzo serves on Herrera's Children and Family Services Team. Caporizzo is an authority on federal and state grant programs, with expertise ranging from grant solicitation and implementation processes to audit and compliance issues. She helped establish and oversee implementation of the Clinton Administration's $8 billion COPS program in the U.S. Department of Justice, and specialized in criminal justice grants under former Mayor Willie Brown.
* Assistant Chief Investigator George Cothran serves on Herrera's Investigations Team. An accomplished investigative reporter prior to his career in public sector investigations, Cothran led the inquiry that uncovered an elaborate national scam to defraud the federal E-Rate program intended to benefit underserved school districts. Both Cothran and Herrera testified before Congress on that investigation, which formed the basis for the City's groundbreaking federal whistleblower lawsuit.