Planners Circulating Letter Urging Firing of Planning Director John Rahaim

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Is it a mutiny against Captain John Rahaim on the Good Ship Planning Department?
Veteran city planner Jim Miller confirmed anonymous tips that members of the department are circulating a letter to Mayor Gavin Newsom urging the firing of department director John Rahaim.

Miller said he's seen the letter -- but did not originate or sign it. Miller's last day in the department after nearly 33 years on staff is scheduled to be this Friday. He is the fifth planner fired in the planning department's porn scandal; he claims that sending a photo of the Rio de Janeiro Carnival celebration to a colleague on his office e-mail has cost him his job.

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A December e-mail containing the above photo -- uncensored -- led to an employee's whistleblower complaint. Allegations of years of raunchy e-mails being fired around the office led to four employees being shown the door -- including influential longtime Zoning Administrator Larry Badiner.

In recent months, however, department employees tell SF Weekly that the investigation has intensified -- and has led to a reign of terror within Planning. Between 19 and 24 department employees are purportedly slated for termination as a result of what was discovered by sifting through their hard drives, and a number of others are on suspension.

Department employees complain to SF Weekly that punishments are not being meted out evenly and that older, more veteran planners are being targeted for removal. One planner described the ongoing events as "a purge."

"The people being knocked out -- like Cecilia Jaroslawsky, like Jim -- felt like they could speak up because of seniority," said one longtime planner. "There is a pattern of disciplining people who are outspoken."

Rahaim has not returned SF Weekly's calls.

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