The plot thickens. In a press conference this afternoon picked up by the Business Times, Supervisor Aaron Peskin spoke to the ongoing controversy surrounding the tilting and sinking Millennium Tower and suggested that it was not just poor planning that allowed the 58-story building to built without drilling down to bedrock. Rather, Peskin suggested that some sort of "political interference" from the city allowed the project to be built despite concerns. What's more, the Times suggests both developers and the city knew about "excessive settling" issues before the building was completed in 2009 — which, if true, is likely a troubling revelation for all those who purchased and are now stuck with apartments in the tower.
“The Board of Supervisors has a duty and obligation to get to the bottom of this,” Peskin said in reference to the city's approval of the project. “I believe and I know this is a very serious allegation that there was some level of political interference with the day-to-day duties of the individuals who are charged with making sure that buildings in this seismically prone area that we live in were not allowed to do their job.”
As to what political interference might have been exerted, by whom and on whom, Peskin hasn't said. A host of questions from SFist trying to get to the bottom of just what, exactly, the Supervisor is accusing unnamed city officials of doing was met by an email from his legislative aide Connie Chan saying questions would be answered at a Government Audit and Oversight Committee hearing on the 22nd of this month.
Suffice it to say, Peskin is back in a position to be stirring pots at City Hall, and this one looks like it could be boiling over soon.
Peskin and Supervisor Jane Kim are calling for an investigation into the matter, suggesting that while he may believe "political interference" played a role he doesn't yet have any proof to substantiate that belief. The Business Times, meanwhile, alleges "evidence has emerged" that the tower's developer and the city knew about the sinking back in 2009 — which, if true, could complicate the $500 million class-action lawsuit filed by tower residents against the developer and the agency responsible for the nearby Transbay Transit Center.
If it turns out that officials did exert undue influence to get this building approved despite concerns about the building's future integrity, we might just see some careers sinking a whole lot faster than Millennium Tower.