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The San Francisco district attorney’s office is losing one of its long-time lawyers to another city department today when Assistant District Attorney Gerald Norman starts work as the new head of the Department of Parking and Traffic. “His law background is a real boon for us,” said Maggie Lynch, a spokeswoman for the Municipal Transportation Agency, which governs the department. Norman, a 24-year veteran of the DA’s office, will oversee a department responsible for managing traffic in and around San Francisco, with 520 positions and an operating budget of $76 million, Lynch said. Construction projects such as the tear-down of the Central Freeway fall within his new realm, she said. Norman’s legal knowledge will come in particularly handy when developing new contracts, and his experience as chairman of the negotiating committee of the Municipal Attorneys Association should help with labor negotiations, a big consideration with the city’s current budget woes, Lynch said. Norman could not be reached for comment. Norman is “a good trial lawyer,” with experience in gangs, homicide and sexual assault cases, said District Attorney Terence Hallinan. “He can come back here any time,” he said. “We can’t spare a lot of attorneys, but it’s such a good opportunity for him.” The DA’s office already has eight vacant positions that haven’t been filled due to budget constraints, Hallinan said. He hopes to get a position funded to fill Norman’s void, he added. “I think [Norman] brings a lot of things to the table that we really need,” said Lynch, who has worked with him in the DA’s office in the past. “It’ll help to have a lawyer in on the ground floor” for new contracts between city agencies and outside groups, she said. Norman also has a track record of working well with other people and other agencies, said Lynch. For example, he has a good relationship with the police department, which works hand-in-hand with his new department on parking issues, she said. “We need somebody who is good working inter-agency,” Lynch said. Norman, a graduate of the University of San Francisco School of Law, will get a slight raise, from $142,295 a year to $145,000 a year, city officials said. Norman’s predecessor at the Department of Parking and Traffic, Fred Hamdun, began a new job this week as the deputy secretary of state under Kevin Shelley, who took office in January, Lynch said.

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