San Francisco, CA (August 4, 2021) — In January 2020 the City Attorney’s Office, with the support of the Controller’s Office, launched an independent public integrity investigation and created a hotline in response to federal criminal charges against Mohammed Nuru for aiding and abetting honest services wire fraud in connection with an alleged scheme to bribe public officials. Concurrently, the Controller, in cooperation with the City Attorney, undertook a public integrity review of city contracts (or lack thereof), purchase orders, permits, and grants for red flags that could indicate process failures. In 14 months the U.S. Attorney’s Office has brought criminal charges against 11 city employees and contractors and against private parties who worked for clients on city building permits.
The report issued today provides an update on the legal actions to date and the implementation of our office’s recommendations to improve transparency, reduce the risk of fraud, and safeguard public funds.
Download the full report here.
View the press release.
What happens next?
Our review of inadequate policies and procedures that were exposed by the federal criminal charges against Mohammed Nuru and other city employees and contractors will continue, with future assessments on the Department of Building Inspection’s permitting and inspection processes, contracting at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, and citywide ethics reporting. The need for additional assessments will be determined as the investigation progresses.
Investigators from the Controller’s Office consider every allegation of wrongdoing raised by city employees and members of the public. To report suspected public integrity abuses related specifically to the Mohammed Nuru investigation, please contact the Public Integrity Tip Line. You can provide information by:
All tips may be submitted anonymously and will remain confidential. Reports to this tip line, as well as tips to the Controller’s whistleblower hotline, are critical to the City’s ability to fight abuses and lapses of public integrity by city employees and contractors. As provided for by the San Francisco Charter, the Controller’s Whistleblower Program ensures that complaints are investigated by departments with the appropriate jurisdiction and independence from the alleged wrongdoing.
Information on city payments, searchable by department and vendor, are available on the Controller’s public transparency website at openbook.sfgov.org. As always, anyone may file any allegation of improper or illegal public activity with the City’s Whistleblower Program at sfcontroller.org/whistleblower-program. That program, administered by the Controller’s Office, often partners with the City Attorney’s Office on investigations.
For questions, please contact City Controller Ben Rosenfield at email@example.com.
For all press inquiries, please contact Communications Manager Alyssa Sewlal at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Office of the Controller
The Controller's Office works to ensure the City's financial integrity and to promote efficient, effective, and accountable government. We strive to be a model for good government and to make the City a better place to live and work. The Controller's Office is responsible for governance and conduct of key aspects of the City's financial operations, including operating the City's financial systems and issuing its financial procedures, maintaining the City's internal control environment, processing payroll for city employees, managing the City's bonds and debt portfolio, and processing and monitoring the City's budget. The department audits and produces regular reports on the City's financial and economic condition and the operations and performance of city government.