Herrera appoints former Judge Kevin Ryan to Ethics Commission

Ryan also served as the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California

City Attorney Dennis Herrera swears in former Judge Kevin Ryan to the Ethics Commission.

SAN FRANCISCO (April 16, 2018) — City Attorney Dennis Herrera announced today he had appointed former Judge and U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California Kevin V. Ryan to the San Francisco Ethics Commission.

Herrera swore in Ryan this morning at San Francisco City Hall.

“The Ethics Commission plays a vital role in ensuring that San Franciscans have clean government,” Herrera said. “Kevin Ryan is distinctly suited to fulfill that mission. As a former judge and top federal prosecutor in San Francisco, he knows the City, knows the law and knows how to assess facts impartially. Judge Ryan has deep experience in government ethics and leading complex investigations, including those involving financial crimes. He is a straight shooter who is prepared to take tough, principled stands when the facts call for them. He’ll make an excellent commissioner.”

“I want to thank City Attorney Dennis Herrera for appointing me to this very important commission and for his trust and confidence in my abilities to contribute to the necessary and critical work of the Ethics Commission,” Ryan said. “My career in local, county, state and federal offices, as well as in private and academic settings these past years, has, in my view, prepared me well for the issues we will face in this arena. I look forward to working with the other commissioners — and all the other stakeholders — as we move forward to resolve relevant issues as mandated by the voters of San Francisco.”

Ryan is a respected trial attorney, judge and legal expert with more than 30 years of experience. He began his legal career in California in 1985 as a prosecutor with the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office. He was appointed to serve as a judge on the San Francisco Municipal Court in 1996 and won the seat in a contested election in 1998. In 1999 he joined the San Francisco Superior Court bench, where he went on to serve as the presiding criminal judge. President George W. Bush appointed him in 2002 to be the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California.

Then-Mayor Gavin Newsom tapped Ryan in 2008 to head the Mayor’s Office of Criminal Justice. Ryan has also served as an adjunct professor at the University of San Francisco School of Law. He is a frequent public speaker and panelist on white-collar prosecutions. He also serves on the board of directors for the San Francisco chapter of the Little Sisters of the Poor.

Ryan graduated from Saint Ignatius College Preparatory, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from Dartmouth College and received his law degree from the University of San Francisco School of Law.

He was named a Northern California Super Lawyer in 2006 and 2007, one of the Daily Journal’s “Top 100 Lawyers of California” in 2006, and one of the Irish America magazine’s “Top 100 Lawyers” in 2007 and 2008. The St. Thomas More Society of San Francisco awarded him its 2015 St. Thomas More Award, which recognizes those who have made significant contributions to the legal community, the Catholic community or have dedicated themselves to public service or charitable works.  

The Ethics Commission is the city agency responsible for enforcing ethics laws and rules, including campaign finance and open government laws.

The commission has five members, one each appointed by the mayor, Board of Supervisors, city attorney, district attorney and the assessor.

Ryan will serve the remainder of former Commissioner Peter Keane’s term after Keane resigned Feb. 27. Keane’s term runs through Feb. 1, 2020. Ryan will be eligible to serve one more six-year term when that term expires.