Auditors Down on the Waterfront

Port of San Francisco accuses restaurant group of withholding $600,000 in parking revenue over two years.

By Jackson West
|  Tuesday, Nov 10, 2009  |  Updated 1:00 PM PDT
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Auditors Down on the Waterfront

Ashleigh Nushawg

The Fisherman's Wharf Restaurant Association may owe the Port of San Francisco hundreds of thousands of dollars in parking money.

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Getting its gulls in a row before attempting to issue a bond for repairs to waterfront facilities along San Francisco waterfront, a Port of San Francisco audit has turned up some mighty suspicious business practices.

According to the report, the Fisherman's Wharf Restaurant Association, which represents tourist traps like Alioto's, owes $600,000 in additional parking revenues from a port-owned lot on Taylor run by the association under a curiously informal, decades-old agreement.

While other port parking lots give the city a split of parking revenues, the wharf lot hands all parking fees over to the city, minus "expenses." "Expenses" like a Christmas tree, for example.

City Parking, the company hired to operate the lot, doesn't even have a written contract to do so, and the manual records that were in part "unauditable" according to the port's accountants.

The restaurant association fired back with accusations of libel, with association president Nunzio Alioto threatening to sue the city over the audit.

Photo by Ashleigh Nushawg

Jackson West is shocked -- shocked! -- that there might be accounting improprieties down on the wharf.

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