2nd Recology executive linked to Mohammed Nuru corruption scandal charged

Federal prosecutors in San Francisco announced Thursday they've charged the former vice president and group manager of Recology -- the company contracted by the city to handle waste collection -- with bribery and money laundering.

John Francis Porter, 37, is the second Recology executive to be charged in the ever-widening city corruption case, as federal prosecutors also charged former Recology group and government community relations manager Paul Frederick Giusti with bribery and money laundering back in November.

Prosecutors allege Porter worked with Giusti to bribe former San Francisco Department of Public Works director Mohammed Nuru, whose responsibilities included regulating waste collection rates and approving contracts.

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Prosecutors allege the pair provided bribes and benefits to Nuru totaling $1 million over years, funneled through several non-profit organizations at Nuru's behest. In one instance, Porter allegedly approved $55,000 to fund a DPW holiday party, although the payment was disguised a donation to the Lefty O'Douls Foundation for Kids, a non-profit organization run by Nick Bovis, who was charged wire fraud in 2020.

FILE - In this Feb. 6, 2020, file photo, Mohammed Nuru, the former director of San Francisco Public Works, center, gestures as he leaves a federal courthouse with attorney Ismail Ramsey, right, in San Francisco. A businessman charged in a public corr

In 2015, Porter allegedly emailed a colleague, writing, "Mohammed is the director of DPW, who ultimately signs off on our rates. Needless to say, keeping him happy is important," prosecutors said.

The federal investigation into corruption within the San Francisco city departments kicked off with the arrest of both Nuru and Bovis in January 2020. Nuru, who immediately resigned from his position, has since been charged with wire fraud.

The investigation has since also resulted in criminal charges for seven others, including former Mayor's Office of Neighborhood Services director Sandra Zuniga and former San Francisco Public Utilities Commission General Manager Harlan Kelly.

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Porter's indictment comes a month after the San Francisco City Attorney's Office reached a $100 million settlement with Recology over excessive waste collection charges to customers. City Attorney Dennis Herrera alleged Recology failed to accurately account incoming revenue when it increased rates by more than 14 percent in 2017.

The overcharges were only discovered after Nuru had been criminally charged.

If convicted of bribery, Porter could face up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. If convicted of money laundering, he faces a maximum 20-year prison sentence and a $500,000 fine, prosecutors said.

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Porter is set to make his initial appearance in court on Tuesday.