You won't find this picture on the SF Gov website any longer. That's Tristan Bettencourt on the left and his friend, Heidi Machen, on the right.
The San Francisco Taxicab Commission meeting just wrapped up – it was another marathon, more than five hours. The commissioners apparently gave Mayor Newsom what he wanted – they voted to send him nominations for Executive Director. We have every reason to believe that Heidi Machen is on that short list, and there’s little doubt who Newsom will pick.
As we first reported last night, it’s a strange story. The commission fired Heidi Machen last month over several issues including the man she hired as her special assistant, Tristan Bettencourt, her long-time roommate. The former cabdriver was convicted in 1989 of burglarizing the home of a passenger, after he dropped her at the movies. Machen posted Bettencourt’s $10,000 bail at the time, so she knew his criminal record as a cab driver when she hired him for a job overseeing the taxi industry. Interestingly, Bettencourt became Acting Executive Director for the commission after Machen left. After she got fired at the Taxi Commission, Newsom removed two commissioners who voted against Machen, appointed three others, and tonight, the commission by all appearances sent her nomination to the mayor. Politics in San Francisco …
Tonight at 11pm, we showed you how Tristan Bettencourt resigned at the commission meeting without stating the reason. This comes a day after the I-Team revealed his criminal history, including the burglary in San Francisco and a conviction for grand larceny in El Dorado County.
The Taxi Commission is ripe for more stories. We're already working on it, and if you have any leads, please e-mail us through the website or call 1-888-40-I-Team.