SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee said he will withhold judgment, for now, about the collapse of a home on Dec. 16 involving one of his political allies, Mel Murphy.

Murphy 67, a partner in Murphy & O’Brien Real Estate Investments, is the former president of the city’s Building Inspection Commission and also currently sits on the influential Port Commission.

Ten days ago, a home he was expanding on Twin Peaks partially slid down a hillside, forcing another home to be evacuated. No one was injured.

“Obviously my first thought is that I’m sorry, it’s an accident,” the mayor told KCBS at a Christmas event he was attending.

Lee largely sidestepped reports from the San Francisco Chronicle that documented major construction projects on Twin Peaks and elsewhere where Mel Murphy pulled no permits or had fees significantly discounted.

Many neighbors, it was reported, said they had fought the construction but were unable to stop it through the city’s departments.

While serving as the building inspection commissioner, Murphy also hosted a fundraiser for Lee’s mayoral campaign.

“At this point I don’t know if he’s done anything inappropriate with fundraising at all but it’s unfortunate that his house is in the situation that it is. It could have been worse. We want to prevent that from happening and make sure that he’s done everything right,” Lee said.

Lee also said that he has spoken with Murphy since the mishap and he supports several pending investigations.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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