SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The San Francisco city attorney Thursday announced 14 additional subpoenas against individuals and businesses in the wake of a widening public corruption investigation that began the arrest of Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru and a business associate Nick Bovis.
Last month, federal agents arrested Nuru and restaurateur Bovis on a variety of public corruption charges, prompting a joint investigation of public corruption by City Attorney Dennis Herrera and City Controller Ben Rosenfeld.
On Thursday, Herrera announced his office issued the subpoenas focusing on a mixed-use project of luxury condos at 555 Fulton Street near City Hall. The subpoenas also targeted Walter Wong, a permit expediter and contractor, as well as companies linked to linked to Zhang Li, the developer of the 555 Fulton project.
In addition, two investment firms involved with the 555 Fulton project, as well as an engineering firm were served with subpoenas.
The city attorney’s office said the investigation is looking into possible violations involving improper gifts to city officials or employees and whether companies with city contracts funneled money through nonprofits to fund city programs and events, such as Public Works holiday parties.
Earlier this month, Herrera’s office subpoenaed eight other organizations in the probe, including PG&E; construction firms Webcor, Pankow and Clark; and the recycling firm Recology. Three nonprofits were also subpoenaed: Lefty O’Doul’s Foundation for Kids, the San Francisco Parks Alliance and the San Francisco Clean City Coalition.
“Make no mistake, we’re following the evidence wherever it leads,” Herrera said in a prepared statement. “We’re not going to stop until we get to the bottom of this. San Francisco has always been a leader, and we’re going to make sure that we lead when it comes to clean government.”
Several San Francisco Supervisors have called for an independent investigation into the corruption allegations.
Nuru and Bovis are accused of a several corruption schemes, including trying to steer city contracts to Bovis, and accepting luxury travel gifts from a developer. One of the schemes alleges Nuru provided Bovis with inside information on a city project involving portable toilets that was awarded to a Bovis-related company. The city attorney’s office said the city terminated the $171,000 contract for non-performance and did not pay any money under the contract.
Another city contract with Alternate Choice LLC to provide street trash cans was not renewed after the January 2020 expiration. Alternate Choice is registered to Walter Wong and was subpeonaed Thursday along with Wong.
Subpoenas issued Thursday by City Attorney Dennis Herrera:
- 555 Fulton Partners, LP
- 555 Fulton St. Development, LLC
- 555 Fulton St. Holdings, LLC
- Z&L Properties, Inc.
- Z&L Realty, Inc.
- SCGHRC Holdings III, LLC
- Synergy California Green Hospitality Regional Center, LLC
- Alternate Choice, LLC
- Jaidin Consulting Group, LLC
- Jaidin International Ventures, LLC
- W. Wong Construction Co., Inc.
- Walter Wong, an individual
- BKF Engineers
- FPC Builders, Inc.