Days after the mayor revealed her longtime personal relationship with former Public Works director Mohammed Nuru — who resigned last week amid a federal investigation — she's saying that she now is "re-evaluating" all of her personal relationships.
"Part of it is, this is my personal life," Breed told the Chronicle in a brief interview published Wednesday. "I didn’t see it the way others see it." She was referring, of course, to the now widely discussed $5600 gift of car repair and car rental from her friend Mohammed. While she did not admit on Friday to an ongoing romantic relationship, she did admit to one two decades back, and obviously they were close enough still that she entrusted Nuru to deal with a broken car that she didn't want to repair herself. And she says, "It's a learning experience. I have to think differently about relationships — my family, my friends and honestly, who I date."
As she frames the 2019 car repair to the Chronicle, "I asked my friend Mohammed to get rid of the car, and it didn’t happen that way. I don’t want to go into details, but I’m here to take full responsibility for what happened because I didn’t handle it well."
"Just because I’m the mayor, it doesn’t mean I’m not a woman who’s also trying to have a personal life,” she continued. "I’ve been in the city my whole life. I have a lot of relationships and spent time in the community helping people. When you become mayor, I’m realizing clearly now that that changes. I’m a human being, and I’m not perfect."
Under San Francisco law, city officials can not accept gifts over $25 from subordinates, and they can not accept gifts under $25 unless it's a holiday or birthday or similar occasion.
Several SF supervisors are calling for Breed's resignation, with Hillary Ronen being the most outspoken thus far. "The culture of this low-level, ‘acceptable’ corruption in San Francisco is so entrenched, and so widespread," Ronen tells the Chronicle this week. "You hear the same things over and over: ‘You have to pay to play in San Francisco,’ and that is so deeply wrong."
On Wednesday, the Examiner revealed that Nuru's co-conspirator in the federal investigation, local restaurateur Nick Bovis, had also apparently gifted something to the mayor — $1250 to cover a Pride parade float in June 2015 (before she was mayor). The Mayor's Office responded by saying that the float was for a governmental purpose, and therefore it would have been subject to "behest payment rules" and was not improper. The Examiner had found, though, that Breed's parade floats in all other years had apparently been paid for out of her campaign funds.
Thus far, there has been no indication that Breed is a subject in the federal investigation, though a city ethics investigation will stem from her revelation about the car repair.