Phil Matier: SF Housing Chief Opening New Restaurant While On Medical Leave

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – The embattled head of San Francisco’s Housing Authority, who is on paid medical leave, is apparently opening a restaurant in Berkeley with his wife – a move that’s not sitting well with at least one San Francisco lawmaker.

Supervisor London Breed has called for an investigation into possible fraud on the part of Henry Alvarez, who Breed suggested should be solely focused on his health issues – because he is currently on paid medical leave.

Alvarez requested the time off in January as he faced growing criticism over his leadership. Dozens of agency employees had complained to Mayor Ed Lee’s office that Alvarez was essentially a bully. He was also slapped with three lawsuits from authority staff accusing him of discrimination and retaliation. Federal officials were also reportedly scrutinizing contracts the agency awarded during his tenure.

His medical leave was scheduled to run through March 29. He was being paid from accrued sick time benefits.

Alvarez offered no initial public comment when a published report revealed that Alvarez is listed by the Berkeley Department of Finance as owner of a business license for Next Door Restaurant on Adeline St. near Alcatraz Ave. The restaurant is expected to open in May 2013.

The San Francisco Chronicle quotes a Housing Authority spokesperson as saying authority staff and its Board of Commissioners were in the dark about the restaurant, and a full explanation was expected from Alvarez.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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