SAN FRANCISCO – An Uber executive who recently suggested launching a million-dollar campaign to investigate journalists critical of the ride-booking company is in a bitter dispute with the landlord of his rental condo.
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The San Francisco Chronicle reported Saturday that Uber senior vice president Emil Michael filed a restraining order last year against his landlord. Michael accuses his landlord, tech industry lawyer John Danforth, of waging a harassment campaign designed to make Michael move.
A judge tossed out the request in September 2013, calling Michael's court filing borderline frivolous. Michael alleged that Danforth gave keys to the condo to several workers and, in one case, a "stranger" was discovered in his backyard.
Danforth told the judge that the stranger was a "highly experienced gardener" doing her "routine monthly watering and clean up." Danforth said the workers were a painter, a plumber, a locksmith and repairmen for appliances who entered the condo only after giving Michael 24 hours' notice.
But the dispute persists according to emails sent by Michael to Danforth reviewed by the Chronicle.
"This appears to be part of Mr. Michael's efforts to escalate (and/or short-cut) a landlord-tenant dispute," Danforth wrote to the judge, "something we have already tried to resolve through multiple contractor visits, two mediation sessions and protracted follow-up emails."
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After the judge tossed out the case, Michael continued to send Danforth emails claiming Danforth is "snarky and jealous." Michael also claimed that he's friends with San Francisco Police Chief Greg Suhr who planned to call Danforth to warn him about "about your illegal entries to date and a warning about future ones."
Suhr said he knows Michael but that he isn't considered a friend.
"I know who he is. I've met him. We're not friends," Suhr said. Suhr said police were called to the condo last year because of dispute between Michael and Danforth. But police determined the dispute was a matter for the civil courts and not a criminal case.
Michael leased the renovated three-bedroom, two-bathroom, 1,986-square-foot condo from Danforth in June 2012 for $9,500 a month, lease and property documents show.