Bay Briefs

The Associated Press
Wednesday December 05, 2001

SAN FRANCISCO — One of the two men accused of killing a state senator’s son in November demanded a speedy trial, while the other did not appear for the scheduled hearing in San Francisco Superior Court Tuesday. 

Defendant Dwayne Reed, 22, wanted the speedy trial. A bailiff said co-defendant Clifton Terrell, 18, had been in the hospital ward since the weekend, but did not say why he had been hospitalized. 

Hunter McPherson, 27, was walking home with his girlfriend Alexa Savelle in the early morning of Nov. 17 in the city’s Potrero Hill district when they were allegedly robbed at gunpoint. 

McPherson, son of Republican state Sen. Bruce McPherson of Santa Cruz, was shot in the chest. His girlfriend was not injured. 

Prosecutors will be researching any legal issues involved when co-defendants have different requests for trial, said San Francisco District Attorney’s office spokesman Fred Gardner. 

Gardner said a new hearing has been scheduled for Dec. 14. 

Both Reed and Terrell, who were arrested on Nov. 28, are being held without bail. 



SAN FRANCISCO — A poll worker, fired on election day after he walked off the job, showed up at City Hall Monday with 400 blank ballots, almost a month after the election. 

Elections chief Tammy Haygood declined to release the name of the poll worker. 

The 400 missing ballots were never used in the voting so they will not affect the outcome of the Nov. 6 election. 

The poll worker was hired for election day as a precinct inspector, the on-site boss. The inspectors are given the ballots at the end of the two-hour training session and are expected to bring them to the precincts when they report to work. 

The poll worker, who had experience in previous elections, was fired after he left the polling station and didn’t come back, Haygood said. 



RICHMOND — Contra Costa County and Richmond city officials told General Chemical they would pursue an audit of the company’s operational practices following two caustic releases last week. 

The county’s last post-release audit was conducted three years ago following an incident at Tosco’s Martinez refinery. The procedure and follow-up evaluation cost around $200,000. 

Outraged by a release of sulfur dioxide and trioxide last Thursday and followed by a minor incident the next day, Mayor Irma Anderson called a meeting with General Chemical representatives Monday afternoon. 

The company was criticized by city and county officials for underestimating the severity of Thursday’s release. Plant management initially reported the incident as a “Level 0.” A half hour later, the company upgraded its assessment to “Level Two,” still not serious enough to activate the community warning system. The release was only elevated to “Level Three” status after county officials arrived and determined the community should be alerted. 

City and county officials told General Chemical they would oversee the investigation that usually follows a major release — called a “root cause analysis.” They will evaluate the results and may take the unusual step of further examining the company’s procedures. 

Under state law, Richmond cannot require General Chemical to conduct the root cause analysis or pay for an audit, though the company has expressed a willingness to do so, said Supervisor John Gioia.