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Jon Jacobo resigns after Standard reports sex-crime allegations; lawmaker calls for hearings

A man gestures mid-speech in a gathered crowd, looking concerned or expressive.
Jon Jacobo, a political organizer, resigned from his job after multiple women accused him of sex crimes. Three women filed police reports against him and the allegations include rape, attempted rape, domestic violence, harassment and stalking. | Source: Gina Castro/The Standard

Jon Jacobo, a former rising star in San Francisco politics and director at a powerful affordable housing nonprofit, resigned from his job Tuesday after multiple women accused him of sex crimes and abuse.

The allegations, published in an investigation by The Standard, ranged from stalking, harassment and threats to domestic violence, strangulation, sexual assault and rape. Some of the allegations formed the basis for police reports.

Jacobo, a political organizer and director of community development at TODCO, an influential affordable housing organization that has received millions in government grants, resigned following The Standard's report.

"After initial allegations were made against Jon, we conducted an internal review of his work with our organization and we found no issues. We were not aware of the issues raised today," TODCO CEO Anna Yee said in a statement. "When it comes to these allegations the reality is a social justice nonprofit like ours is not qualified to investigate potentially criminal acts and that responsibility rests with law enforcement. 

"We can, and do, believe in two deeply held convictions equally; we must listen and hear the voices of women when they speak out and we must remember everyone deserves due process," Yee added. 

The Standard interviewed three women, all of whom worked at high levels of local government and public policy in San Francisco, about their experiences with Jacobo. They came forward with their stories about Jacobo after Sasha Perigo, a housing activist, publicly accused Jacobo of rape in 2021.

The investigations of Jacobo, while open, appear to have languished. In a social media post Tuesday, Police Chief Bill Scott wrote that the police department is "working diligently on these open investigations. We take sexual assault cases very seriously and we work closely with our victims."

In response to The Standard's reporting, Supervisor Hillary Ronen on Tuesday called for a hearing to investigate how the city responds to allegations of sexual assault and harassment.

"This morning, after reading an incredibly concerning article about allegations of sexual assault, I contacted my female colleagues on the board, and we all had the same pit in our stomachs and decided to call a hearing together," said Ronen during Tuesday's public board meeting.

“I’m sitting in bed and reading this article and thinking about what women have to endure in our city,” Supervisor Catherine Stefani added. “In what we think is a progressive city. It just makes me sick."

A side profile of a woman in a light sweater sitting in front of a dais with an open laptop.
Supervisor Hillary Ronen has called for a hearing to investigate how the city responds to allegations of sexual assault and harassment. | Source: Juliana Yamada/The Standard

Ronen said she wants to specifically look into how sexual assault allegations are handled by San Francisco Police Department and how they engage with survivors. She added that how the District Attorney's Office approaches the issue should also be investigated, along with the efficacy of a program called SHARP, or Sexual Harassment and Assault Response and Prevention, an office Ronen created to combat sexual assault and harassment.

"What we need to know is how many complaints are made to SHARP annually, how many of those complaints get resolved, what outreach and follow-up with complainants looks like, what their outreach strategies look like, and what the uptake is from survivors for additional services," Ronen said. "We will also look into what policy recommendations the department has made to improve the city handling of sexual assault complaints."

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