There are more federal charges in the SF Department of Building Inspection bribery scandal, this time against three design and engineering executives accused of bribing DBI inspector Bernie Curran as well as two other department employees.
A week ago today, federal prosecutors charged two former SF Department of Building Inspection (DBI) engineers with accepting bribes to grant building permits, bribes the feds described as “cash, free meals, drinks, and other benefits.” And one of those engineers, Rodolfo “Rudy” Pada, was also accused of taking an off-the-books, interest-free $85,000 loan from an unnamed “construction planning and design firm executive.”
Those federal prosecutors weren’t done charging in that case, and we now know who this accused executive is. The Chronicle reports that he and two other design firm executives have been charged with bribing those DBI engineers. NBC Bay Area adds that one of the executives is also charged with paying “$1,500-per-inspection bribes, totaling $30,000” to former DBI inspector Bernard Curran, who’s already been sentenced to three years in prison in two separate bribery cases.
In the case of these new charges, the design firm executives are 72-year-old Siavash “Sia” Tahbazof, founder of the local firm SIA Consulting. The feds also charged current SIA Consulting owner Reza Khoshnevisan with bribery, as well as Tahbazof’s nephew Bahman Ghassemzadeh.
Congratulations to our Employee of the Quarter Senior Building Inspector Bernie Curran! pic.twitter.com/UyNpyUuVda— SF Department of Building Inspection (@sfdbi) April 20, 2016
We’ve already known for a couple of years that the above seen “Employee of the Quarter Senior Building Inspector Bernie Curran” had taken a secretive $180,000 loan from SIA Consulting executives, while also inspecting their properties and granting them permits. According to the Chronicle’s new reporting on the charges, Tahbazof forgave $30,000 of that loan.
And the Chronicle adds that in doing so, Tahbazof told Curran “Make sure I don’t get any jackasses” inspecting his properties.
For their part, the new leadership at DBI says they welcome these charges and the rooting out of any remaining corruption in the department. “The Department of Building Inspection commends the U.S. Attorney’s efforts to bring to justice those seeking to corrupt the government processes meant to keep the public safe,” DBI spokesperson Patrick Hannan told the Chronicle.
Image: SF DBI