Bay Briefs

Friday April 27, 2001

S.F. supes want crackdown on illegal billboards 

SAN FRANCISCO – A crackdown on illegal billboards won approval from the Board of Supervisors’ finance committee Wednesday. 

Supervisor Mark Leno’s legislation enacts fines of as much as $2,500 a day on companies that put up unpermitted billboards and landlords of buildings that are the hosts for such signs. The money would go to enforce the city’s billboard laws. 

Leno’s proposals also require every billboard to include the sign’s permit number, legal dimensions and owner in letters big enough to read from the street. 

But San Francisco Beautiful, a group dedicated to the beautification of the city, wants tougher action — a ban on all legal or illegal billboard sites. 

Advertising companies grudgingly went along with most of Leno’s legislation but pointed out that in addition to jobs in the sign industry, lots of small businesses and nonprofit social service agencies that own buildings and collect money by leasing sign space will be harmed. 

The legislation will be submitted for its first reading by the Board of Supervisors next Monday. The board probably will decide on the proposal in two weeks. 

Former Oakland City Council member ousted 

OAKLAND – Former Oakland City Council member Leo Bazile has been forced out of the legal profession amid allegations he won a court settlement for his son, then spent the money himself. 

State bar prosecutor Andrea Wachter said Wednesday that Bazile was ordered on inactive status this month after allegedly violating a disciplinary agreement. 

Bazile had promised to finish defending two murder cases, then resign his state bar membership, Wachter said. However, he then represented a partner’s client and may have lied about expediting the second murder case, Wachter said. It has yet to go to trial. 

The action stems from a complaint by Jabari Bazile, Leo’s 24-year-old son. He said he never received a $144,000 settlement won by his father in a wrongful-death suit over the nursing home death of Jabari’s mother. 

Jabari’s attorney says Leo Bazile has agreed to reimburse his son for the missing money. 

Leo Bazile served on the Oakland City Council from 1983 to 1992 and also made two unsuccessful runs for mayor. 


City Attorney  

to step down 

SAN FRANCISCO – City Attorney Louise Renne announced Thursday she will not run for re-election when her current term, the latest in her 15-year tenure as city attorney, expires in Janaury 2002. 

“Every moment I have spent as city attorney has allowed me the opportunity to exercise my best judgment on behalf of the city that I love,” Renne said in a statement. “As far as I am concerned, there are few challenges more satisfying, but the time has come for me to pursue other professional interests that I have long put on hold, and also to spend a lot more time with my grandchildren.” 

Renne was appointed city attorney in 1986. She was elected in 1989 and re-elected in 1993 and 1997. 

Renne, 63, is credited with strengthening San Francisco legally in areas such as transportation, public health, telecommunications and energy regulation. Her office has engaged in litigation and consumer protection actions against the tobacco industry, gun manufacturers, airlines, escrow and title insurance companies and national banks. 


Woman to pay for stowaway’s burial plot 

SAN JOSE – A woman was so touched by the desperation of a stowaway who died in the sky curled up in the wheel of a jetliner that she has agreed to pay for a plot at a Palo Alto cemetery. 

The woman, who wants to remain anonymous, was told as recently as Wednesday morning that she would not be able to bury the body of Tommy Mayloa, 19, at the Alta Mesa Cemetery in Palo Alto because San Mateo County has an exclusive contract with a San Jose cemetery to bury its unclaimed bodies. She has since gotten permission to bury him in Palo Alto. 

“He seemed so desperate,” said the woman. “He’s just about the same age as my nephews, and it just hit me. This was something that I could do for him.” 

Scotland Yard investigators are not even sure the body is Mayloa’s. They say he clambered inside a 767 jet at London’s Gatwick Airport on Feb. 19. 

They think he was a native of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Investigators believe Mayloa’s parents were killed a few years ago, and, depressed and terrified, he fled to Europe. He eventually ended up homeless, without identification papers, in London. 

The man will be buried early next week in a sunny plot near a bench where the woman could come and visit every once in a while and bring flowers. She did not know Mayloa’s religion, so she has picked a pair of praying hands and the words “A Child of God” to be engraved on the headstone.