In late January, the FBI arrested San Francisco public works director Mohammed Nuru and restauranteur Nick Bovis for a scheme to bribe an official of the Airport Commission. At the corruption probe unfolded, the city of San Francisco kept Mohammed Nuru on paid leave.
“While I understand the desire for him to be fired immediately,” San Francisco mayor London Breed said in a statement, “it’s important that we follow all the laws required to terminate a public employee, no matter the circumstances.” After Nuru formally resigned, mayor London Breed admitted to a 20-year relationship with the city’s public works boss. As Rick Moran noted at PJ Media, last year Breed also accepted a $5,600 “loan” from Nuru, allegedly for “car repair.”
“To be clear,” she wrote. “I never asked Mohammed Nuru to do anything improper, and he never asked me to do anything improper.” Mayor Breed also proclaimed: “I will not apologize for dating someone two decades ago. I will not apologize for remaining close friends with him and his family for 20 more years. But neither will I make excuses for any misdeeds.”
Mohammed Nuru, currently free on $2 million bond, faces a maximum of 20 years in prison if convicted. Many in the Bay Area believe the public works boss should have been fired long ago.
As Susan Dyer Reynolds noted in Marina Times, Nuru’s ascent started in 1991 when he became second in command at the San Francisco League of Urban Gardeners, (SLUG), a nonprofit managing community gardens. Nuru came to the attention of then-California Assemblyman Willie Brown and worked for Brown’s mayoral campaign and his reelection campaign in 1999. In 2000 Brown hired Nuru as DPW deputy director of operations and “soon staff complaints rolled in about Nuru flaunting city rules and misusing public funds.”
After Mohammed Nuru took over as DPW boss in 2011, the complaints continued as excrement began piling up on San Francisco streets. As NBC News headlined a 2018 story, “San Francisco Paid Firm $400K for Research Claiming City is Nearly Spotless; Complaints Over Trash, Needles, Feces Soaring.” That was Nuru’s doing, and the DPW boss kept his job as the excrement piled up to record levels.
Like Mohammed Nuru, London Breed is also Willie Brown crony. When she ran for mayor, reporters joked that Brown was acting as her campaign manager. Willie Brown, a former Assembly Speaker, also launched the careers of his one-time girlfriend Sen. Kamala Harris, a former presidential contender.
Another Brown underling is former Brown fundraiser Carolyn Carpeneti, with whom Brown had a child in 2001. Carpeneti was recently tapped to serve as a recruiter for California’s online college project.
London Breed first gained election as a San Francisco supervisor in 2012. In 2018, after the death of mayor Ed Lee, Breed won a special election to serve the rest of his term. Last November, Breed won election as mayor. As she told cheering supporters “Every single day that I get up, I’m thinking, ‘What are we going to do to make San Francisco better now and for generations to come?’”
After revelations of the “loan” from Mohammed Nuru, San Francisco Supervisor Gordon Mar said in a statement: “I believe Mayor Breed should do the right thing and temporarily step back from her duties until a full, independent investigation can be completed.”
At this writing, the San Francisco mayor has not done so.