The latest update in the ongoing City Hall saga stemming from a federal corruption investigation is that the City Attorney's own investigation has just issued 14 new subpoenas pertaining to the much delayed 555 Fulton project in Hayes Valley — which already has figured into the federal complaint against former Department of Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru.
The City Attorney's Office has issued 6 subpoenas to companies linked to Chinese developer Zhang Li, whom federal investigators and subsequent reporting have identified as allegedly having gifted a trip to China to Nuru in exchange for help getting approvals for the Fulton Street development. As Socketsite reports, one subpoena was also issued to well known permit expediter and contractor Walter Wong, and four more were issued to companies with ties to Wong. Another two subpoenas went out to investment firms tied to 555 Fulton, and one was issued to an engineering firm that worked on the project.
City Attorney Dennis Herrera says the subpoenas seek "a range of records, including documents that could show things or services of value being provided to a city employee or official, or to a city employee or official’s family member." Herrera added, "Make no mistake, we’re following the evidence wherever it leads."
Per the Business Times, these latest subpoenas seek email communications and other materials that pertain to the mixed-use project — which many in the neighborhood were eagerly anticipating opening because Trader Joe's is set to move into the ground floor.
And the subpoenas follow just a couple of days after Nuru himself reportedly sat down with Herrera to cooperate with the investigation.
"We will get to the bottom of this. San Franciscans deserve no less," Herrera said in a statement earlier this week.
Two weeks ago, Herrera's office also subpoena'd eight private and non-profit companies with possible connections to both Nuru and alleged co-conspirator Nick Bovis, the owner of restaurants Lefty O'Douls and Spinnerie. Herrera contended with those subpoenas that these companies may have been "funneling" money to Nuru's department, for holiday parties and the like, through checks to a charity run by Bovis.
Meanwhile, the federal probe remains ongoing, and it's not yet clear if the charges will stop with Nuru and Bovis. As many surmised in recent weeks, a second charge against Nuru of lying to investigators appears to stem from his not fulfilling some sort of cooperation deal, and possibly informing higher-ups at City Hall about the investigation.