Jon Jacobo, a well-known San Francisco political figure with leadership roles at several local organizations, announced his resignation from a city commission late Friday in the wake of allegations by a local activist that he assaulted and raped her.
Formerly a commissioner at the Building Inspection Commission, which sets policy for the Department of Building Inspection (DBI), Jacobo was also asked to resign by Board of Supervisors President Shamann Walton.
Sasha Perigo, a student and organizer with the statewide advocacy group Tenants Together, wrote in a document posted to Twitter that Jacobo raped her at his home on April 4, 2021.
Alongside the allegation, Perigo published records corroborating her account of the incident, including medical and police records, and asked that the story be shared so that other women can avoid being victimized.
In a statement on Twitter, Jacobo appeared to deny the allegations but announced a leave of absence from work “for the sake of the community, which I owe so much, and to avoid distraction from the important work of addressing and preventing the spread of COVID-19 which has been my mission this past year.”
Hours earlier, Walton had called for Jacobo’s resignation from the Building Inspection Commission and indicated that if Jacobo didn’t resign, the board would take “swift action” for removal.
“My thoughts go out to the victim for her courage and bravery for speaking out on this awful situation that no one should ever experience,” wrote Walton.
Because commissioners are appointed by the Board of Supervisors or the mayor, removing them from office in cases of misconduct would require a vote by the board, according to San Francisco’s Good Government Guide.
Angus McCarthy, president of the Building Inspection Commission, told Here/Say in a statement that “we applaud [Perigo’s] bravery for coming forward to share her story and have no tolerance for the behavior that was called out.”
In addition to his role at the Building Inspection Commission, Jacobo is a policy director at Tenants and Owners Development Corporation (TODCO), a nonprofit development group that operates several affordable housing sites in and around South of Market.
Jacobo also serves as Vice President of the Calle 24 Latino Cultural District, an influential nonprofit in the Mission District that received five grants from the city totaling more than $500,000 last year, according to public records.
More recently, Jacobo co-founded the Latino Task Force, a group that was instrumental in bringing COVID-19 testing and vaccinations to the Mission during the pandemic. Among other activities, the Latino Task Force participated in a $28 million initiative last year to advance public health and economic assistance in the Mission’s Latino community, which was hit especially hard by the pandemic.
In December, the Latino Task Force and Mission Language and Vocational School were awarded a $500,000 grant from the Department of Public Health to serve residents most impacted by COVID-19.
Perigo wrote that she decided to come forward with the allegations after hearing that Jacobo had engaged in similar conduct with other women.
“After a lot of deliberation, I am choosing to talk about my assault publicly specifically because Jon has such a large platform. Jon cannot be allowed to use his platform to victimize women any longer,” wrote Perigo.
This is a developing story and will be updated.
Sophie Bearman can be reached at [email protected]
Annie Gaus can be reached at [email protected]