Newsom back from surprise Hawaii trip

November 11, 2009 1:39:44 PM PST
There was no notice, no sign. San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom suddenly disappeared for almost a week. His staff reportedly thought he was missing in action. It turns out he was in Hawaii. He is back in the city, but has yet to explain himself.

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The last time mayor Newsom was seen at City Hall was at his news conference on the oil spill last Friday.

Later that day he suddenly dropped out of the governor's race.

Then Newsom took his wife and new baby to Hawaii.

City Hall sources say he never told his staff he was leaving town, but his spokesman Nathan Ballard claims he knew.

"We were in contact with the mayor the whole time and there's no reason to make a big deal out of this; he just needed a few days off to spend some time with his family," Ballard said.

Supervisor Carmen Chu was appointed acting mayor. She did not return calls for comment, so ABC7 does not know when she was told or what she knew.

In his absence, Newsom's staff had to cancel long planned appearances to at least two conventions this week before thousands of people.

None of the supervisors ABC7 spoke with felt he did anything wrong, they just thought the mayor could have been more forthcoming.

"I think this was another one of those personal and public tests that he had an opportunity to hit a homerun on and unfortunately he didn't," Ross Mirkarimi said.

The mayor returned Thursday night.

Friday morning, he avoided cameras by bolting into his office through this side door.

His staff said he was in meetings all day and was available to speak to reporters.

Abc7 has also learned that Newsom did not take any of his security detail with him to Hawaii.

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