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San Francisco's
AIDS czar abruptly quits

San Francisco's
AIDS czar abruptly quits

San Francisco's AIDS czar abruptly resigned on Friday, saying he did want to face possible harassment from an AIDS activist without the city's protection, according to the Bay Area Reporter.

Jeff Sheehy, who served as Mayor Gavin Newsom's HIV and AIDS policy adviser since April 2004, sent an e-mail to the mayor last week, saying he was immediately stepping down from his unpaid position. In the memorandum, Sheehy referred to AIDS activist Michael Petrelis, who was arrested in 2002 for harassing, stalking, and making criminal threats against city AIDS leaders. Petrelis was placed on a three-year probation that recently expired and has been showing up at public meetings.

"Given the lapse of restraining orders and the reality that the volunteer's position that I hold would not be entitled the formal support of the city and county of San Francisco in the event of a repeat of past history, I resign immediately," Sheehy wrote, according to the Bay Area Reporter.

City leaders, including gay supervisor Bevan Dufty and Newsom spokeswoman Jennifer Petrucione, told the Bay Area Reporter that they are considering making the AIDS czar position a salaried one. (The Advocate)

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