Whistleblower Program Report Released for Q1 of Fiscal Year 2020–21

Image of bullhorn and text that reads Speak Up


San Francisco, CA (December 14, 2020) — The Controller's Office has released its Whistleblower Program report for the first quarter of fiscal year 202021.

Administered by a team in the Controller's Office, the City’s Whistleblower Program investigates complaints about the quality and delivery of city government services, wasteful and inefficient practices, misuse of government funds, and improper activities by city employees and those who do business with the City.


Download the full report here.


Investigation Highlights

The Whistleblower Program received 142 new reports from July 1 through September 30, 2020. The following are examples of the wide-ranging allegations that were investigated and confirmed:

  • Management at a department spent tens of thousands of dollars of city funds and hundreds of staff hours to organize an employee appreciation event.
  • A manager spent more than $900 of city funds on a catered breakfast and lunch for city employees at their home.
  • Work resources were misused for personal purposes.
  • A manager required an employee to work although a doctor had ordered the employee to self-quarantine after potential exposure to COVID-19.

To continue to manage the high number of reports received, the program has a multidisciplinary Controller’s Office team, along with a coordinated referral and follow-up process with the City Attorney, District Attorney, Ethics Commission, and others with jurisdictional oversight, that collectively possesses the experience and expertise to address the diverse range of allegations received.


Public Integrity Tip Line

In response to the federal criminal charges filed against former Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru (which were made public on January 28, 2020), the Controller and City Attorney began a joint public corruption investigation and opened a Public Integrity Tip Line (Tip Line) on February 4th to gather information about the investigation. The Tip Line received four tips from July 1st through September 30th.


Outreach and Education

We encourage city staff, contractors working on behalf of taxpayers, and all San Franciscans to learn more about the Whistleblower Program and increase or refresh their knowledge about red flags that may indicate unethical conduct, along with the secure ways they can report misconduct.


Helpful Resources


Follow the San Francisco Controller’s Office @sfcontroller on Twitter and subscribe to our reports.

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. 


About the Whistleblower Program

The Whistleblower Program responds to specific allegations of administrative wrongdoing by city employees and those who do business with the City. For more information, check out our Frequently Asked Questions.