Muslim Immigrant In Charge of Cleaning Up San Francisco’s Streets Is Arrested on Federal Fraud And Bribery Charges
To the surprise of few, yet another official in feces-ridden San Francisco has been arrested as part of an FBI investigation. The man who’s in charge of cleaning up the feces who’s in jail. Mohammed Nuru *was* San Francisco’s “Director of Public Works.”
The FBI hauled him in on bribery and wire fraud charges. They also picked up restaurateur Nick Bovis as part of the scheme.
San Francisco’s Director of Public Works Mohammed Nuru, 58, and Lefty O’Doul’s owner Nick Bovis, 57, were charged in a criminal complaint with honest services wire fraud in connection with an alleged scheme to attempt to bribe a San Francisco Airport Commissioner, United States Attorney David Anderson announced at a press conference.
“The complaint describes a web of corruption involving bribery, kickbacks, and side deals by one of San Francisco’s highest-ranking city employees,” Anderson said in a statement. “The public is entitled to honest work from public officials, free from manipulation for the official’s own personal benefit and profit.”
The defendants both appeared in federal court today and were arraigned and released, each on a $2 million bond. If convicted, they face a maximum statutory sentence of 20 years in prison.
Nuru was initially arrested on this charge on Jan. 21, and said he would cooperate with FBI officials and agreed to not tamper with or disclose the investigation. He was arrested again yesterday for violating those terms.
The main scheme described by the FBI involves the attempted alleged bribery of an unnamed SFO commissioner in exchange for a restaurant contract at the airport. According to the complaint, Nuru and Bovis schemed to give the unnamed commissioner $5,000 and free travel so that she would vote to approve a contract for Bovis’ restaurant Spinnerie. The complaint records multiple conversations between Bovis and an undercover FBI employee who was posing as a friend of a lender. The criminal complaint against Nuru states the unnamed commissioner declined the money, and the contract was never awarded to Bovis.
That’s right, they were duped by an undercover agent. It’s almost like a skit out of a bad comedy show.
There is at least one indication Bovis was getting suspicious of this “friend.”
“Well, in my brain, what if this is some sort of FBI sting or something?” Bovis reportedly said to the undercover FBI employee.
They ended up with a 79 page criminal complaint, available on the SF Gate article. And oh yeah, dude is a Muslim too.
Ironically, Nuru’s handle on Twitter is (WAS) Mr Clean SF. Here was his last tweet:
Enjoying touring the Salesforce Transit Center with our Governor @GavinNewsom and Governors from Maryland and Montana as part of the National Governors Association meeting in San Francisco. pic.twitter.com/q05FE8lUQB
— Mohammed Nuru (@MrCleanSF) January 23, 2020
How fitting; A bunch of career bureaucrats posing for photo ops to make it look like they’re doing something worthwhile.
Nuru served as “director of public works” since 2012 after first getting hired as a junior staffer back in 2000. Under his watch, San Francisco’s poop problem went from bad to worse. Business Insider reported last year:
Between 2011 and 2018, San Francisco experienced a massive increase in reported incidents of human feces found on public streets.
In 2011, just over 5,500 reports were logged by the San Francisco Department of Public Works; in 2018, the number increased to more than 28,000.
City Hall observers said privately that Nuru’s loyalty may have discouraged mayors from looking too closely at how he ran his ship at Public Works despite documented complaints over the years. Unlike some department heads who deliberate and stall, he never refused a mayoral request and, by several accounts, expected the same total loyalty from his own staff.
But there were plenty of signals over the years that Nuru may not have lived up to his Twitter moniker, @MrCleanSF.
Nuru has a long history with San Francisco’s political establishment. He started running the San Francisco League of Urban Gardeners, a city-funded nonprofit that tended to community gardens and provided job training, in 1994. Around that time, he met then-Assemblyman Willie Brown and eventually became Brown’s protege.
Ed Lee, who was then head of DPW, tapped Nuru as his deputy director for operations in 2000, and Nuru worked for 11 years in that role.
In 2004, a Chronicle investigation uncovered accusations that nine people from Nuru’s nonprofit, SLUG, were forced to do work for Newsom’s mayoral campaign and were pressured into voting for him for mayor. They reportedly were told their jobs with the city would be in danger if they didn’t cooperate.
Nuru also allegedly ordered a Public Works crew to clean a debris-strewn vacant lot near his home in Bayview-Hunters Point at a cost of $40,000 and requested $70,000 in city money to landscape another lot nearby. Bureaucrats who complained reported being demoted or transferred.
Front Page Mag was covering Nuru’s corruption last year, and it may very well have been what prompted the FBI to launch an investigation:
Nuru had gotten his start with SLUG, a social justice community gardening organization… Mr. Clean was a protégé of Mayor Brown and complaints quickly rose from DPW employees about corruption, discrimination and intimidation. DPW employees complained that he filled DPW positions with his own political allies from SLUG, diverted street cleaning funds to SLUG, and used public employees to improve areas near his home. DPW people who complained about Mohammed were demoted or transferred. If you crossed Mr. Clean, the word was that he would ‘clean you out’.
Nuru had been a Brown campaign volunteer before he even became a citizen. And had allegedly forced SLUG employees to campaign for the corrupt San Fran boss, telling them that their jobs depended on it.
Mohammed Nuru landed a top job at the DPW where he promised to “get rid of those white managers.”
By 2004, four years later, Mohammed Nuru had been banned from any further dealings with his old SLUG buddies after the social justice group was accused of pressuring workers to campaign and vote for Gavin Newsom in the city’s mayoral election. (Newsom has since become governor of California.)
SLUG employees were once again being told that they would lose their jobs if Newsom didn’t win.
The event at which SLUG employees, many of them homeless or ex-cons, were forced to cast absentee ballots had been sponsored by Attorney General Kamala Harris. Kamala Harris’ campaign manager admitted to being in contact with Mohammed Nuru during the election and SLUG workers filled up Harris events.
Fast forward to today, and Mohammed Nuru, utterly incompetent, has left San Francisco a filthy mess. And now he was finally busted.
The real question is will other Brown proteges who got on board with Nuru and benefited from his abuses, most notably, Governor Newsom and Senator Kamala Harris face any real questions?
Will the national media notice?
Don’t bet on it.