SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — San Francisco City Administrator Naomi Kelly announced Wednesday she is taking a leave from her role in City Government after her husband was charged with wire fraud in the widening San Francisco City Hall corruption scandal.

“In light of recent events, I have decided to take a voluntary leave focus on my family and
especially on my two children, who have been devastated by public accusations and public
speculation based on the word of a liar,” Naomi Kelly wrote in a statement.

Naomi Kelly’s husband, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission General Manager Harlan Kelly, was charged with honest services wire fraud, federal prosecutors in San Francisco announced Monday.

Harlan Kelly is the latest defendant named in the growing scandal that began in January with charges against ex-Public Works head Mohammed Nuru and restaurateur Nick Bovis.

Prosecutors alleged Harlan Kelly, 58, was involved in a “long-running bribery scheme and corrupt partnership” with construction company executive Walter Wong.

Wong allegedly provided Harlan Kelly with cash, international vacations and meals, among other perks, as Wong sought a multi-million-dollar contract from the SFPUC for his company Green Source.

Naomi Kelly said while she’s disappointed in leaving her work amid a pandemic, she wants to clear a few things up.

“I have devoted my professional life to public service and wholeheartedly support investigation of public corruption. Public trust and democracy go hand in hand and it is incumbent upon all of us to uphold the public trust,” she wrote. “In my two decades of public service, I have always acted ethically and in the best interests of the people of the city that I love, and I have always told the truth, as I have here.”

Naomi Kelly called Wong, who agreed to cooperate with the FBI investigation, a liar who is deceiving the public.

“The admitted felon who says otherwise, Walter Wong, is a disgraced and desperate man, who deceived many good people for many years and is now scrambling to use his manipulative skills to buy his freedom in the last years of his life. I will put my credibility up against his any day and, rest assured, I will ensure that the truth is told for the sake of my family, my community, and my city,” she wrote.

While Naomi Kelly has not been charged with any crimes, her husband Harlan Kelly resigned as general manager Monday afternoon.

In a statement, Harlan Kelly disputed the allegations but said he would immediately vacate his position instead of retiring in the next 18 months as he had previously planned.

“Today I was informed by City Administrator Naomi Kelly that she is taking a leave from her role in City Government to focus on the issues raised in the federal investigation. While Naomi has not been charged with any crimes, managing our COVID response while still delivering basic city services requires the full focus of all of our departments, including the City Administrator’s Office, which has been central to many of our efforts to mitigate the spread of this disease. Deputy City Administrator Ken Bukowksi will assume the role of Acting City Administrator. As a city, we need to continue to work to address issues raised by this investigation and to implement necessary reforms in order to ensure the public’s trust in our city government.”

London Breed, San Francisco Mayor

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