SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Former San Francisco Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru was sentenced Thursday to seven years in federal prison and a $35,000 fine after pleading guilty to accepting more than a half million dollars in bribes and kickbacks.

Prosecutors say over 12 years Nuru betrayed the public trust by accepting money, trips and other goods and services from city contractors and developers in return for steering city business their way.

Prosecutors sought nine years saying Nuru believed he was above the law and a lengthy sentence would deter other public officials from taking part in this level of corruption.

Nuru’s attorneys called for a three-year sentence saying extra years don’t create more deterrence. They also pointed out Nuru’s recent heart attack, his diabetes, and his years of community service work.

Nuru’s long-running scheme of bribes and kickbacks ultimately earned him seven years in prison. Today’s sentence sends a clear message that public officials who abuse their power for personal gain will be punished. The FBI’s investigation into this case is not over. We will continue to unravel and disrupt corruption within the city of San Francisco.

FBI San Francisco

But in sentencing Nuru to seven years, Judge William Orrick said this type of public corruption cannot be tolerated in a democratic society and when discovered it should come at a high cost.

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Nuru was just the first to fall into the city’s corruption scandal. Several other government officials and private individuals now face federal corruption charges or have already pleaded guilty to them.

He is due to surrender to authorities on Jan. 6 of 2023. San Francisco Mayor London Breed said she dated Nuru two decades ago.