Embattled San Francisco Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru officially resigned from his position Monday, city officials said.

Nuru, 57, submitted his resignation to City Administrator Naomi Kelly Monday. Former Mayor Ed Lee in 2011 appointed Nuru to lead the Department of Public Works.

The now former DPW director is being investigated by U.S. Attorney David Anderson and the FBI for alleged bribery schemes involving city contracts and contractors.

Restaurateur and Lefty O’Doul’s owner Nick Bovis has been implicated alongside Nuru in bribery schemes intended to sway city contract awards.

One of several allegations detailed in the federal complaint said Nuru and Bovis attempted to bribe Airport Commissioner Linda Crayton with $5,000 to approve a restaurant lease at San Francisco International Airport.

The bribe never materialized and Crayton has since resigned from her position on the Airport Commission, citing serious health issues.

San Francisco street trees
Aaron Levy-Wolins/SFBay Mohammed Nuru, San Francisco Public Works director, speaks at a tree maintenance program launch in Noe Valley in San Francisco, Calif. on Wednesday, July 19, 2017.

Nuru also faces a charge for lying to the FBI about whether he disclosed the investigation to other parties, which he was instructed not to do.

Nuru and Bovis were arrested on Jan. 27 and both have since been released on $2 million bond.

Mayor London Breed said in statement Nuru was placed on leave following his arrest and was relieved of any DPW decision-making responsibilities. City purchaser Alaric Degrafinried was appointed as interim director in Nuru’s absence.

Breed said despite the public call for Nuru’s dismissal, The City was ensuring all laws regarding termination of a public employee were being followed.

Breed said:

“Our goal is to continue to support the hard-working employees of this department and to continue its mission of cleaning our streets, performing critical infrastructure work, and taking care of our City. I will continue to support the full independent investigation underway to uncover any improper actions that were taken and recommend reforms to ensure they never happen again.”

The offices of the city attorney and controller are currently investigating contracts that may have been tainted under Nuru’s reign.

Supervisors Matt Haney, Gordon Mar and Dean Preston have also begun the process of hiring an independent investigator.

Jerold Chinn
Jerold Chinn is the San Francisco Bureau Chief of SFBay. A San Francisco native, he has spent a decade covering transportation in San Francisco. Send tips to jerold@sfbay.ca or at Twitter @Jerold_Chinn.

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