BREAKING: Activist Michael Petrelis Arrested Over Privacy Violation Involving San Francisco Supervisor Scott Wiener

The offending image. Sup. Weiner caught washing his hands-stop the presses. Photo: Michael Petrelis

We awake this Friday to find yet another odd twist in the world of Castro neighborhood politics.  Clinton Fein from The New Civil Rights Movement reports in what appears to be an act of heavy-handed political retribution, longtime activist, muckraker and citizen journalist Michael Petrelis yesterday surrendered to the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department in response to the District Attorney issuing a warrant for his arrest, after being charged with allegedly violating the privacy of Supervisor Scott Wiener.

The DA alleged Petrelis broke Section 647(j) sub-section (1) of the penal code.

A simmering feud between the Supervisor and Petrelis over a range of issues from a public nudity bill to control over the rainbow flag in Harvey Milk Plaza has raged for over two years. The charge stems from a photograph Petrelis snapped, and subsequently published on his blog, of the supervisor at a wash basin in a public restroom at City Hall on Friday, October 26. Petrelis voluntarily turned himself in for booking on Thursday afternoon after posting bond, was cited and released.

“I am dealing with this legal matter head on,” said Petrelis following his ordeal. “I voluntarily surrendered to the San Francisco sheriff. I have a court date set for December 5th at 9 am, and I look forward to it.”

The incident occurred at City Hall, where Petrelis was staging a photo-op for visiting gay Honduran dignitary Erick Martinez, an activist whose life has been threatened by the rightwing junta ruling his country. Through Petrelis’ political organizing, Martinez was introduced to gay Supervisor David Campos and bisexual Supervisor Christina Olague, in front of the Harvey Milk Bust in the Grand Rotunda on the second floor.

Petrelis had been taking photographs of the activities in the Grand Rotunda before he walked into the public men’s room noticed Wiener and proceeded to photograph him. An image of Wiener standing in front of the sink, holding a toothbrush later appeared on Petrelis’ blog.

Two weeks after the photo appeared on his blog, in what looks like an act of political retribution, Wiener appears to have abused his power as a San Francisco Supervisor by involving the sheriff’s department, who in turn assigned two senior detectives to investigate Petrelis.

“I am surprised the DA charged this case,” said Petrelis’ attorney, Derek St. Pierre.

We will stay tuned to see how all of this political, ‘Dynasty’ era, Crystal vs. Alexis, bitch slapping plays out. One thing is certain, San Francisco politics are never dull.

Waiyde Palmer

Waiyde Palmer loves San Francisco, social activism and punk rock(ers). His work has appeared in Handbook Magazine. SF Bay Times, The Advocate, Diseased Pariah News and American Music Press . He also has an extensive and repeatedly redacted FBI file.

You may also like...

22 Responses

  1. ROCK says:

    Girls will be girls !! Just wanna have fun !!

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. marcos says:

    Wiener’s reaction here should be construed using the same lens as was used to construe Julian Davis’ issuing of a cease and desist order,as in politics, the more speech the better and efforts to restrict speech are themselves significant and suspect.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  3. What a waste of city resources. Weiner is such a tool.

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

    • stop the hate says:

      I agree. He’s been unofficially running for mayor for the past 2 years, and this just gives him the added attention that he craves.

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. Sounds like borderline stalking to me; on the basis of what’s written here, I don’t blame Wiener.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • benzcat says:

      I agree with Jim Hopkins. Petrelis needs to grow up, get a job and quit thinking he’s so important. Who cares what he thinks???

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. Joe says:

    Thank you Jim. Please never forget, Harvey Milk and George Moscone were shoot down in City Hall. Man-baby Petrellis loves any drama and attention directed at him. Guess his Mommy didn’t love him enough. And he’s been begging for any attention since. Following Scott or anyone into a restroom and taking a picture is stalking and creepy. Good for Scott standing up to this bully.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Waiyde says:

      Drawing a vague comparison Petrelis pix taking to Dan White murdering Harvey Milk & Geo. Moscone is as equally distasteful as when you complained about Mitch Hightowers comparison of Sup. Weiner to the late Mr. White earlier this week. Neither is accurate. Did he act in poor taste? Probably. Is it worth tax dollars & city services pursuing it & arresting him? No. Sup. Weiner could’ve easily taken out a restraining order-which-would’ve had the same media impact but none of the fiscal results this poor choice had.

      Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

      • Joe says:

        I did not complain about Mitch Hightowers disgusting posters.

        My comparion was just how creepy/stalking Petrelis acts and what a hard on he has for Scott Wiener. And yes, to protect our elected officials safety, tax dollars should be spent.

        Clearly, Petrelis is not playing with a full deck or sound mind. Note his previous jail time for harassment and bullying.

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

        • Waiyde says:

          Actually Joe, you did..” To compare Scott, who stood up for a guy’s right to live in his own home, to the man who murdered Harvey Milk is sick, and typical of the hate that Petrelis & Hightower revel in.” From your comment on the tree lighting ceremony in the Castro post, 11/26

          Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

          • Joe says:

            just to be clear Walyde, that post was from user Me at 12:13 AM. I post under my name, JOE

            Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

          • Waiyde says:

            Ah. I see where my confusion lay. You started the thread that this quote was a response too-Apologies for erroneously confusing it with you.

            Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  6. marcos says:

    Public figures cannot expect to be entitled to the same level of privacy as the general public. A camera under the stall pointed up at Scott’s wiener would cross the line, a photo of hand washing is a First Amendment statement reminiscent of Lady MacBeth or Pontius Pilate. Politicians should also know that an improper reaction to being provoked is more of a problem to the politician than the official acts that instigated the provocation.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  7. stop the hate says:

    What is Wiener doing in the bathroom anyway? I didn’t know that politicians had bodily functions or had to brush their teeth (or shower). I thought these politicians were above all that. That’s the impression they like to give….that how one sees them on television is how they always are 24/7.

    These PUBLIC figures seem to not be real clear on the concept….among other things. I know his conservative disciples are rushing to support him (Wiener), so no need to waste one’s time arguing with them. That will accomplish nothing.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Joe says:

      Hater, I can tell by your post, you’ve never talked with Scott Wiener before. If you had, you would find him super smart, thoughtful, educated, professional, passionate, and very human. I see Scott at Fitness SF (in gym shorts), and Castro Tarts. Let me assure you, he doesn’t always appear so television ready. Just makes him more approachable and human.

      Your message is so filled with hate, close minded arguments, and jealousy, it must be really tough being you.

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • Ramón says:

        Joe: Common courtesy requires that you clean up the fluids you deposit on gym equipment after seeing ” Scott at Fitness SF (in gym shorts)”.
        Face it, you have a crush on him, so you’re willing to turn a blind eye to his motive(s) for making nudity in the Castro his cause célèbre.
        I’ve seen thousands of men in scanty clothing, but seeing a bit of flesh has never made me think that they were “super smart, thoughtful, educated, professional, passionate, and very human”! I’ve thought other things, but none of your praises were paramount in my mind!

        I’ll concede that, much as any one of us, he must have some good points, but as a young politician with his eye on a political career, there’s nothing wrong with holding his feet to the fire, and helping him steer a course that addresses the quality of life/safety issues of the district. District 8 isn’t just the intersections of Market/Castro & 17th Streets.
        There are at least five multi-dwelling, mixed use projects going up in the district simultaneously. I would focus on addressing the strain the increased traffic is going to place on a compact area.
        If you live long enough, you’ll see fads come and go; nudity in an urban intersection that sees cold blasts of afternoon air hurdling down from the Swish Alps will eventually be this fad’s dick-shrinker.

        The Castro has weathered worse situations than this.

        As for the photograph in the john at City Hall; it makes the photographer look like a clown, and makes his future arguments suspect. He never enjoyed my endorsement, and resorting to seventh grade tactics is BS.

        Oh, and another thing Joe: the other day you called me a woman’s body part as a pejorative. Even as a gay man I respect women enough to not stoop to equating their bodies with inferiority. I don’t know about you, but I came from one, so leave them out of it – got that?

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

        • stop the hate says:

          Ramón,

          Your first paragraph about the fluids deposited on gym equipment….LOL.

          I think many people had and still have a crush on SW, which is a pathetic reason for (blindly) supporting a politician.

          As for Michael taking the picture: I wouldn’t have done that. And I think SW’s reaction/response is extreme and speaks very poorly of him in my opinion. It seems trite and immature to go to such extreme over someone taking a photo in a bathroom of someone at the sink. If I were a politician and that happened to me by an opponent, I’d just blow it off or make light of it. No big deal. But in my opinion, as usual SW is taking his approach for political agenda and retribution reasons against an opponent. My neighbor said, “he (SW) seems to have pretty thin skin.”

          Ciao.

          Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

          • Joe says:

            Men who are confident and educated are always sexy. As far as a crush, you boys sound like your still in high school. I’m too old for crushes, and my husband of 24 years wouldn’t be too pleased.

            But let’s remember what this issue is all about:
            Michael Petrelis is not a mentally (batshit crazy) healthy man. Think: John Hinkley, Mark David Chapman. Michael has served time in jail for harassment, and bullying. If this madman had his sights on me, I’d do everything short of carrying a weapon to protect my family and myself. If Petrelis is your spokesman, or hero you got much bigger problems.

            This community would be well served if like the B.A.R. we all come together and refuse to buy into his mental illness and personality disorder.

            Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  8. Ramón says:

    “batshit crazy” – That reminds me of an adage : Dios los cría y ellos se juntan.

    Going forward, I wish you the best of luck with your reading comprehension skills.

    My sympathies to your husband of twenty-four years.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Joe says:

      i guess the birds are you and Petrelis. My reading skills are fine, it’s my spelling. lol
      BTW, he’s pretty happy, just like me!

      Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • Ramón says:

        “My reading skills are fine,” – No, they aren’t, Joe.

        “If Petrelis is your spokesman, or hero you got much bigger problems.” Quote a comment where I praise, endorse, or commend his actions, ever.

        I wrote: “As for the photograph in the john at City Hall; it makes the photographer look like a clown, and makes his future arguments suspect. He never enjoyed my endorsement, and resorting to seventh grade tactics is BS.”

        Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  9. marcos says:

    There are three lockable, single head bathrooms available to men on the Board of Supervisors’ wing of the second floor in addition to the multi head semi private facility in which the photo was taken.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Speak your mind...