SFO Commissioner resigns for health reasons in wake of corruption probe

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – The San Francisco Airport Commissioner, Linda Crayton, has submitted her resignation letter on Wednesday to Mayor London Breed. 

Crayton wrote that she has been dealing with multiple medical conditions over the years and will be taking more time to receive treatment.

This comes one day after San Francisco Director of Public Works Mohammed Nuru was arrested by the FBI for public corruption.

According to the criminal complaint, one of the five schemes that were named included a bribe made to an unnamed airport commissioner with cash and free travel in exchange for assistance to win a bid for the right to run a restaurant in the airport.

The commissioner involved allegedly refused to accept the bribe, according to court documents.

A KRON4 source says Crayton is listed as the ‘unnamed commissioner’ in the Nuru FBI complaint.

Although at this time, she is not being charged and according to the complaint, did not take any bribes.

Defense attorney Paula Canny is reacting Wednesday night to the arrests of San Francisco’s Public Works Director and the well known restaurant owner.

“Where there’s smoke there’s fire and I’m pretty sure there’s a fire here,” she said.”There’s clearly probable cause to bring criminal charges, federal criminal charges.”

Read full letter below:

Attorney Randall Knox, who is representing Crayton, released this statement on Wednesday evening:

Linda Crayton has served on the Airport Commission for the City and County of San Francisco since 1996, through the administrations of Mayors Brown, Newsom, Lee, Farrell and Breed.  She has always considered her integrity, openness and access to the public as fundamental to her public service.

Even before the recent investigation into the bidding process at SFO, Linda was enduring personal health issues that required extensive medical treatment. 

Linda is innocent of any wrongdoing and she intends to cooperate fully with authorities if asked. 

Because of concerns for her health, Linda has decided to discontinue her service on the Airport Commission and she has submitted her letter of resignation to Mayor London Breed.  Linda appreciates the importance of the Airport Commission and understands the need to remove any distractions and to allow the appointment of her successor to ensure a quorum of Commissioners necessary to serve the City.

Randall Knox

A federal complaint lays out stunning allegations that led to the FBI arresting both men on Monday.

Prosecutors from the U.S. Department of Justice charged each of them with a five part corruption scheme alleging the two accepted gifts in return for contract work —  all of this detailed in a 75 page complaint.

“The complaint alleges corruption pouring into San Francisco from around the world,” said U.S. Attorney David Anderson. 

The complaint claims both Nuru and Bovis attempted to bribe a airport commissioner with an envelope full of cash to help win a bid for restaurant space.

Through surveillance and wiretapping, the FBI has been investigating Nuru since 2018.

Federal authorities say the other allegations include Nuru receiving free travel and gifts — including a 2,000 bottle of wine from a Chinese billionaire developer who was building a multimillion dollar mixed use project in San Francisco, helping Bovis secure a contract inside the new Transbay Transit Center and providing Bovis with inside information regarding portable bathrooms so he could win the contract.

The fifth and final scheme listed in the complaint alleges Nuru of using city contractors to work on his vacation home for free.

“So I think probably what will happen is everyone is scurrying around all the people who [are] involved in this,” Canny said. “Who else is involved in this is sort of circling the proverbial wagon and lawyering up as they say and at the same time the federal government is going to reach out to all the various witnesses, who they will need to prove this up and they will take this to a grand jury and indictments will follow.”

According to federal officials Nuru was first arrested on Jan.  21 

He was released into FBI custody under the condition he not tamper or obstruct the investigation or disclose any information about the investigation to others. 

Officials say he violated this and was arrested again on Monday.

“He blew that opportunity because he clearly communicated what was going on and he was arrested a second time,” Canny said.

Nuru’s attorney Ismail Ramsey says Nuru is a father of five children and looks forward to addressing these charges in court.

Bovis’ attorney has not responded to our request for comment.

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