SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – The president of the city’s Transportation Board, Tom Nolan, is questioning whether San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera should be allowed to give legal advice on the Central Subway Project, given his vocal political opposition to the project.

Herrera is running for mayor and has made the Central Subway a campaign issue, asserting that the cost has doubled to over $1.5 billion, for a rail line that will serve relatively few passengers. Now, Nolan wants the state bar to weigh in on whether Herrera has a conflict of interest and should be precluded from providing legal advice for the project.

KCBS’ Barbara Taylor Reports:

”I’m just trying to exercise my responsibility as a member of the MTA Board, just to make sure because this project is so vital to us, that we’re well-represented,” said Nolan.

He said it’s not personal, that he has even contributed to Herrera’s campaign for mayor.

However, Herrera said his opposition to the Central Subway has nothing to do with his job as city attorney.

“We do that all the time,” said Herrera. “We’re able to separate out our policy disagreements and continue to provide the highest quality legal representation. That’s what we’re doing here.”

Herrera has scheduled a meeting with Nolan to clear up his concerns.

Nolan said that he hopes they can be satisfied before next week’s board meeting, where he plans to seek support for a state bar inquiry.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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