The ongoing investigation into racy emails sent around the Planning Department continues to claim victims. Since the announcement of the probe in May, five Planning staffers have been given an unceremonious farewell. As the city has stepped up its investigation, Planning officials noted that between 18 and 24 employees may be slated for termination. According to Joe Eskenazi at SFWeekly, Planning staff likens the investigation to a "purge", and has even gone so far as to circulate a letter to THE Mayor Gavin Newsom calling for the sacking of Planning Director John Rahaim.
Commentators on the Weekly post seem to think a conspiracy afoot. While we hesitate to label a full-on, moon-landing level conspiracy, motivations besides work-place propriety may very well be at play. According to an unidentified source:
"The people being knocked out -- like Cecilia Jaroslawsky, like Jim [Miller] -- felt like they could speak up because of seniority...There is a pattern of disciplining people who are outspoken." As always, those looking for a conspiracy are apt to find it. However, 23 to 29 terminations does seem like an awful lot of firings for one email, if it is only one email.