SF approves legislation banning city officials from pushing contractors to make payments – CBS San Francisco

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF / BCN) – San Francisco department heads cannot legally demand payment from lobbyists and companies seeking to contract with the city after the San Francisco Board of Supervisors adopted Tuesday at the ‘unanimous legislation prohibiting such transactions.

The ordinance, written by supervisor Matt Haney, was introduced in March and is a direct response to the city-wide corruption scandal that erupted after former public works director Mohammed Nuru was arrested by federal officials on suspicion of wire fraud in January 2020.

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Under current municipal law, municipal officials can solicit donations from individuals as long as payment is made on their behalf to a third party organization. The individual, however, is not authorized to make the payment directly to officials.

For officials who have been elected by the public, “required payments” are governed by local and state laws and any amount over $ 5,000 must be reported. However, this law does not apply to other civil servants.

“The Mohammed Nuru scandal has made it clear that we need sweeping city hall reforms and to undo the corrupt political culture that is deeply entrenched in our city,” Haney said in a statement. “Years of blatant corruption have destroyed public confidence and while this legislation does not in itself eliminate corruption, it is certainly a step in the right direction and will help limit pay for playing politics. We owe the public complete transparency about how we spend our tax dollars. “

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“These sweeping reforms are based on the very simple premise that we should not put ourselves or other city officials in the position to fundraise from parties who seek financial benefits from us,” said Supervisor Aaron Peskin, co-author of the ordinance. .

“This counterpart behavior has been the subject of a downright shameful and embarrassing chapter in our city’s history, and I hope this will help put it behind us,” Peskin said.

According to Haney, the ordinance was drawn up based on recommendations from the city’s ethics commission and the comptroller’s office.

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