Web of corruption: Explore the cronyism, lies, and federal crimes at the heart of San Francisco’s government – Mission Local

Mission Local
Local news for a global city
In January, 2020, the first domino fell.
Mohammad Nuru, then the director of the San Francisco Department of Public Works, was hit with a raft of federal corruption charges and was accused of lying to the FBI – crimes that could see him in prison for up to 25 years.
At the time, U.S. Attorney David Anderson commented on the allegations by saying, “corruption is pouring into San Francisco from around the world.”
The following two years seem to have proven him right. Multiple heads of city government departments have since been ousted from their jobs over allegations of corruption. City employees and contractors have pleaded guilty to charges of bribery, money laundering, and fraud; others are professing their innocence as charges continue to pile up.
The federal and local investigations have touched building inspectors, real estate brokers, and even a Chinese billionaire. From Public Works to the Mayor’s Office to the Public Utilities Commission, new charges are springing up, hydra-like, month after month.
With so many interconnected allegations flying around the city, it can be difficult to keep track of exactly who is involved with what. We have created an interactive graphic to show the connections between the people and organizations that have loomed large in investigations, based on the reporting of Joe Eskenazi. As more players are swept into the maw — and as connections between players become established — we will update this item.
Click on the circles below to find out more. Click the lines between circles to understand how the two are connected.
You can find a fullscreen version of the chart here.
Please note that inclusion on this chart does not necessarily imply wrongdoing, only connection with city investigations. The chart is also not exhaustive – there will be links that are not captured here. We will update the chart as investigations develop.
How well do you know the corruption scandal that has rocked San Francisco for the past two years? Click on the question boxes to see the answers.
Will was born in the UK and studied B.A. English at Oxford University. After a few years in publishing, he absconded to the USA where he studied data journalism at Columbia University. Will has strong…
Joe was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. “Your humble narrator” was a writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015, and a senior…
No one mentions the one committee Victor G. Makras is still serving on and has been on for some time…The Willie L. Brown,Jr. Institute on Politics and Public Service.
Kinda reads like a good joke.
And the VP of our trash company killed himself how strange?
please investigate where all of the money for Homeless and support services and behavioral health are going. I am sure you will find scandals there as well. $5000 tents? Who has the contract? Intensive case management in name only. A director of Behavioral health that is an internist and knows nothing about schizophrenia. Ignoring anyone who is NOT HOMELESS
Scorecard. Getcher scorecard here. Can’t tell the felons apart without a scorecard.
Great graphic guys. The City is a cesspool.
Love this work. Thanks Joe and Will!
Angus McCarthy is connected to all of the above , charming greedy sneaky, all about Angus,
I have been astonished at your reporting. I am also astonished how lightly the SF Chronicle has covered the issues. So thank God or whoever for the Mission Local.
How is it possible the Planning Department has clean hands? It’s not.
This is a great and sad infographic, but I wish it came with a cast of characters in list form.
Is the Allison Collins real estate / city development network in here? Why is TODCO missing? These aren’t criticisms, I’ve only been here a few years and I’m still trying to get my ahead around all the graft I’ve read about
Joe and Will, this is brilliant. Thank you.
I scored an “A” on your quiz, but only because I read Mission Local. Would scarcely know any of this has happened/is happening from the mainstream press.
I hope you win prestigious journalism awards for your coverage almost as much as I hope justice is served on the criminally incompetent, greedy, selfish, and derelict city leaders.
Question 11: Which disgraced public official disgraced himself further by trying and failing to rob a man at knife point for a bag of potatoes chips?
Would be helpful with a map of tax dollars going to non-profits, and how much overhead/compensation each of these organizations take.
This is good work. Thanks for the quality reporting.
Joe and Nick, thanks for the Nifty little chart! Anyone looking into the Shell Game Mayor Breed is playing between David Chui (Friendly Assembly Member) and replacing the The SFPUC Director with City Attorney Herrara? Interested moves going on there!!
I find it very interesting that Mayor Breed appoints City Attorney to Head of SFPUC and Assembly Member Chui moves to the SF City Attorneys office. Coincidence? We shall see.
Someone should do a deep dive investigation into the Workforce Development Division. They have an ingrained culture of incompetence, mismanagement, and fraud, especially in regards to the Jobs Now program they ran. It was a toxic cesspool, not because of line workers but because of middle and upper management, who cared only about generating “numbers” to justify their positions. The rot started at the top. I will never go on record because I’m just happy to be out of that toilet.
I think I might use that for trivia night that I run at the pub
San Francisco has had a reputation as a place to pay to play and I am as a life long resident so glad to see these overpaid pompous People taken down!!! And most of them sold out so cheap it has to be embarrassing!! But why are any allowed to keep their pension or pay while they are awaiting trial??? They should be stripped of all city benefits and any ill gotten gains should be confiscated and returned to the Tax Payers Of San Francisco!! And I Mean Everything Homes Vacation Homes Bank Accounts Anything They Got From Bribes They Should Forget
Isn’t this the reason Ed Lee had a heart attack? He was a key player in the “family” and had a birthday party hosted by Walter Wong and Wongs property on Division.
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Since 2008, Mission Local has been producing enterprise-reporting on SF’s most critical issues: police reform, corruption, public health, housing and homelessness – all while also recording the lives and changes in the city’s oldest (and arguably, best) neighborhood. Learn more about us.