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San Francisco supervisors are not sitting back in the investigation of Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru over alleged public corruption charges.

Supervisor Matt Haney introduced his motion Tuesday to call on the Board of Supervisors clerk to begin the process of hiring a special investigator.

Haney said the investigator will look into how city departments are complying with The City’s anti-corruption policies, including but not limited to city contract awards. The investigator will also be tasked with evaluating powers given up by the BOS to city department heads.

Haney said at the Tuesday’s meeting:

“I think in a situation like this when the people of San Francisco are maybe losing their faith in City Hall’s ability to deliver services with integrity, this body cannot sit on the sidelines and wash our hands of this scandal.”

Additionally, the investigator will evaluate and provide recommendations over The City’s Whistleblower Program, including how the program has improved and identifying any retaliatory actions taken against employees and contractors who have filed complaints under the program guidelines.

Ching Wong/SFBay San Francisco Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru speaks during a ceremony on the completion of a streetscape improvement project on Masonic Avenue in Francisco, Calif., on Tuesday, August 14, 2018.

Elaborating on a number of important policy questions that need to be answered, Haney asked:

“Are the current anti-corruption measures strong enough? What can we do to strengthen them and ensure accountability and transparency? Why does this continue to happen? What are the systemic structural issues that allow corruption to occur in The City?”

The motion has support from supervisors Hillary Ronen, Gordon Mar and Dean Preston.

Supervisor Aaron Peskin is also calling for the City Attorney and Controller’s offices to report investigation finding updates to the board’s Government Audit and Oversight Committee.

Both offices detailed in a joint statement Monday what items their investigation is looking into and interim changes they are implementing to combat contract fraud related to the Department of Public Works.

Supervisor Ahsha Safai is drafting a charter amendment aimed at limiting the number of terms a person can serve on a city commission or board.

Discussions are underway how on the details of length of terms. Safai said he wanted to be clear that just because a person had sat on a board of commission for lengthy period of time does mean they are corrupt, but said the term limits would introduce fresh ideas and new perspectives within city commissions:

“We think in the spirit of good governance. We think in the spirit of promoting new and fresh ideas to have on new commissions that we should set term limits.”

Nuru and Nick Bovis, the owner of Lefty O’Doul’s who is also implicated in the federal complaint against Nuru, briefly appeared in court Thursday for a bond hearing related to the $2 million bail set for each man.

Jerold Chinn
Jerold Chinn covers transportation and City Hall in San Francisco. He is a San Francisco native who works out of City Hall. Email: jerold@sfbay.ca. Twitter: @Jerold_Chinn. Instagram: jeroldwashere.

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