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Supervisor Peskin apologizes for past ‘tenor,’ vows to serve through alcohol treatment

After San Francisco Supervisor Aaron Peskin last week announced he would enter into treatment for alcohol dependency, on Tuesday he elaborated and said he would remain in office while in treatment.

The District 3 supervisor first announced last Thursday he would be entering treatment and thanked his friends, family, colleagues and staff for standing by his side as he confronted his personal issues.

During Tuesday’s Board of Supervisor’s meeting, Peskin further thanked his constituents and the public for the outpour of support he received since making the admission.

He said:

“I owe you all a sincere apology. This is not how I had hoped to come out of this pandemic. But, without or without alcohol and with or without stress I am accountable for my behavior, and I am sorry and frankly embarrassed by the tenor I have struck at times in my work. I have a problem and have taken serious steps to address it.”

He said:

“I’ve entered treatment for alcohol dependence under the guidance of professionals and I intend to stay in treatment as long as it takes to recover. These professionals recommend I continue to work while I also work at my recovery and therefore, I will continue to serve the people of this city as a full-time supervisor. … I’m going to be on this journey for as long as it takes to address my issues but I also recognize that ultimately this is an opportunity to temper my attitude and reflect on my behavior.”

Both Board President Shamann Walton and Mayor London Breed said at Tuesday’s meeting they supported Peskin in his effort to seek treatment.

Walton, however, had more words for Breed, calling members of her staff “true bullies,” and said he would continue to defend his colleagues who are mistreated by members of Breed’s staff, department leaders and nonprofit leaders.

In response, Breed called for more respect for city employees.

She said:

“I know there was a number of comments mentioned about me and my staff, President Walton, but those things could easily be said about you as well. We need to move past that. I know as a former supervisor I completely understand the importance of asking the hard questions and holding departments accountable. That’s part of the duty of this board.”

The mayor added:

“Our hard-working city employees should look forward to attending board hearings. That’s one of the reasons they join public service, to attend important policy debates and to change the future of this city. At the beginning of this pandemic, it was hard and we expected so much out of them. They definitely deserve better.”

Peskin’s announcement came just days after a tense Board of Supervisor’s meeting last week, in which a visibly heated Peskin grilled San Francisco Recreation and Park Department Phil Ginsburg over knowledge of a letter sent to Supervisor Connie Chan by the San Francisco Parks Alliance, which the supervisors said had a threatening tone.

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