San Fran officials lied, staffer faked numbers on Mayor London Breed’s drug rehab vow: report

Independent journalist Michael Shellenberger, who earlier this year charged that San Francisco Mayor London Breed was secretly operating an illicit drug consumption site said this week that the operator of the city’s supervised drug-use site fabricated the number of people the site allegedly served.

In a piece published Thursday on Substack that Shellenberger coauthored with writer and documentary filmmaker Leighton Woodhouse, the operator is identified as Gary McCoy, an employee of city contractor HealthRight360, which is one of the private sector operators of the Tenderloin Linkage Center, created as part of the city’s crackdown on the open drug market in downtown San Francisco.

Shellenberger also posted an extensive Twitter thread detailing their reporting, which included plenty of documentation.

He tweeted: “San Francisco Mayor @LondonBreed promised to send addicts into treatment, but just 18 people out of 23,367 visits to a city ‘Linkage Center’ went into rehab. Now, new emails show that a city contractor fabricated data and city officials lied about it.”

More from Substack:

Emails released through California Public Records Act produced the evidence detailed in their reporting, as seen here:

The possibility of double counting was also mentioned in their reporting: “On February 15, an executive with the Department of Emergency Management, Kay Vasilyeva, wrote, ‘Adrienne had some concerns about the FEST [Felton Institute Street Team] metrics… Only 229 total encounters but over 200 for both health referrals and linkage center referrals? This must mean there is double counting, which is problematic.'”

There was also the aforementioned allegation that the San Francisco Department of Public Health “lied about data that had been fabricated.”

Again, documentation was provided to support the claim:

Shellenberger and Woodhouse concluded, “The emails offer a glimpse into the shared culture of the Department of Public Health and its contractors,” adding: “One senior Department executive, Deborah Borne, wrote in an email to an employee with the Department of Emergency Management, ‘I would love to do a real tarot reading for the new year for you!'”

Here’s a sampling of the responses to the story from Twitter:


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