On Tuesday we told you about the mysterious, apparently spontaneous collapse of a home at 125 Crown Terrace on Twin Peaks belonging to former Building Inspection Commissioner Mel Murphy, who now serves on the Port Commission. Now the City Attorney's Office has sent Murphy a letter saying "the city anticipates that it might become involved in litigation regarding the collapse."

The 850-square-foot rental home had been the subject of much controversy in the neighborhood since 2007 when Murphy proposed demolishing it to make way for a five-story home for him and his family. The city had denied a demolition permit citing the ordinance against the demolition of rental housing, and Murphy then did his best to skirt around that. The house became one of the subjects of a piece in SF Weekly last December exploring a Planning loophole that allows developers to entirely alter and even disassemble a structure without calling it a demolition.

Thus far it appeared that Murphy was following the letter of the law while still intending to build his five-story around the existing, 70-year-old two-story one, though as the Chron reports, Murphy was still adamant as of last year that demolition "would be less disruptive, safer and take less time" than the complicated remodel job he was forced to be doing.

The foundation of the existing house had been removed as of Sunday and the building was propped up in a steel "cradle," but as of 10:30 p.m. the building began to "crumple" down the steep cliff behind it. City Attorney Dennis Herrera is now insisting that Murphy and his contractors not delete or discard any communications regarding the renovation in anticipation of a possible inquiry.

You can bet that neighbors like Ramona Albright, who have been fighting Murphy over this for years now, is not going to lie quietly and let this go un-investigated.

[SF Weekly]

Previously: Former Building Inspector's Twin Peaks Home Mysteriously Slides Down Cliff