Defendants in SF public corruption probe remain free on bond
OAKLAND, Calif. (KTVU) - San Francisco Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru was silent as he made his way into a federal courthouse on Thursday for a bond hearing on public corruption charges.
Nuru and restauranter Nick Bovis, are at the center of a five-part corruption and bribery scheme that included trying to lure San Francisco Airport Commissioner Linda Crayton into accepting $5,000 in cash in order to secure a location at SFO for a Bovis owned restaurant. The bribe never actually went through.
The commissioner resigned one day after the revelations, citing health reasons for her departure.
"I am stepping down from the Airport Commission because my health problems are simply too severe, and my treatment regimen too demanding, to continue," she wrote in a statement on Wednesday. "Moreover, given the alarming revelations this week, I do not want to be a distraction for the City, the Airport, the Commission or our wonderful staff."
Crayton has denied any involvement in the scheme.
On Thursday, both Nuru and Bovis appeared before a federal judge, where the justice laid out the charges the defendants face in connection with awarding city contracts for San Francisco.
Both men are still free on a $2 million bond.
Nuru the head of the Department of Public Works, is on administrative leave for his alleged involvement.
Bovis' attorney Michael Stepanian said outside the courthouse, "He wants to get to the bottom and put this behind him. He understands what he did, but there are legal aspects and fact aspects that have to be put together to make a determination that a) is it a crime, his conduct and we'll have to make that determination in the future. "
The San Francisco Chronicle reports, that two Detroit men who run an airport concession business acted as FBI informants in the case and secretly recorded calls and meetings with Nuru and Bovis.
The Detroit businessmen reportedly have a concession that operates out of SFO.
When Nuru was first arrested on Jan. 21, he was released on condition that he would cooperate with the FBI in the investigation. Nuru was advised by the court and federal agents not to disclose his cooperation. He promised to obey those admonishments, but authorities said he violated those terms and was arrested a second time.
Nuru is also accused of rigging the city's building permit and inspection process to help a billionaire Chinese developer, who in return showered him with gifts that Nuru allegedly did not disclose.
U.S. Attorney David Anderson said those gifts included travel, lodging and high-end liquor.
In another scheme, Nuru allegedly helped Bovis with leasing rights at the Transbay Transit Center. Federal agents also said Nuru gave Bovis inside information to help Bovis bid for contracts to build homeless shelters and restrooms.
Details of a final scheme, involved Nuru's personal vacation home in Colusa County.
"Contractors doing work for the City of San Francisco provided Nuru, as alleged in the complaint, with free and discounted labor, materials and a John Deere tractor," Anderson said.