Feds San Francisco corruption probe forces out long time Airport Comish

The personal and human toll of the US Attorneys campaign against San Francisco is only beginning to sink in to the City’s body politic.

Linda Clayton is not charged with any crime in Trump’s crime busters crusade against San Francisco.  Nonetheless, the strain of being brought into the media whirlwind has led to Clayton’s resignation after 24 years on the San Francisco Airport Commission.

Health reasons are being cited.

San Francisco Chronicle 1.29.2020

The San Francisco International Airport Commissioner whom federal officials allege Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru and restaurateur Nick Bovis sought to bribe resigned Wednesday.

Linda Crayton cited a struggle with “multiple, severe medical conditions for several years” in her resignation letter to Mayor London Breed.

Nuru and Bovis were charged with wire fraud Tuesday in connection with schemes that involved trying to exchange cash and gifts for contracts at SFO and the Transbay transit center. The complaint alleges the men tried to bribe Crayton in exchange for voting to approve an airport lease for Bovis’ chicken restaurant.

Linda Crayton II 1.29.2020

Crayton, who was first appointed to the airport commission by then-Mayor Willie Brown in 1996, is listed only as “Commissioner 1” in the Justice Department’s criminal complaint against Nuru and Bovis. But Crayton’s attorney, Randall Knox, confirmed that Crayton was the target of their alleged bribery scheme.

Her attorney Randall Knox said Crayton resigned due to her frail health combined with the revelations released Tuesday, which “is a little more stress than she wants to bear right now.”

“The bottom line is, the demands of my medical treatment have increased to the point that I cannot continue to serve on the commission,” Crayton said in her resignation letter

Recent questions have also emerged about whether whether she lives in San Francisco — a requirement for airport commissioners and other public offices.

In their complaint, federal officials lay out in meticulous detail the evidence collected from confidential informants, wiretaps, undercover officers and surveillance that they allege shows Nuru and Bovis concocting a plan to buy off Crayton. The complaint also alleges that Bovis expected Crayton’s approval would bring along the votes of two additional commissioners who “vote in a block” with Crayton.

The complaint indicates that Crayton knew Nuru — going so far as to say that Nuru helped get her a spot on the commission.

Federal officials say that Bovis thought Crayton was receptive to their overtures. According to the complaint, Bovis told an informant that Crayton had confided that “she was confident she could help them secure the lease after she got all the information.” “Bovis told the informant that Crayton said ‘she’ll make sure we get in.’”

The complaint accuses Nuru and Bovis of conspiring to bribe Crayton with a trip and $5,000 in cash.

“Bovis and Nuru then took concrete steps to implement the scheme by arranging a private dinner with (Crayton) and bringing an envelope full of cash to the meeting,” the complaint said.

Bovis told an undercover officer that he had offered the cash to Crayton after the dinner, but she rejected it. He later decided against the lump-sum and thought instead to “take care of” Crayton by offering a small portion of the licensing fees he would receive from the restaurant lease.

But that plan unraveled after Bovis and others involved in the scheme became suspicious that they were being watched by the FBI. The complaint also says Crayton did not accept the cash bribe.

“If you look at the recorded conversations in the complaint, it’s clear that Ms. Crayton is saying ‘I’m trying to do the right thing,’” Knox, the commissioner’s lawyer, said. “She’s innocent. She’s neither the target or the subject (of the investigation). At most, she’s a potential witness.”

The alleged airport scheme is one of five separate instances of public corruption Nuru and Bovis were involved in.

Both men are free on $2 million bonds and both face up to 20 years in prison if convicted. Nuru was placed on paid administrative leave, in accordance with city policy, on Monday. They are expected back in court again on Feb. 6.

Scrutiny over Crayton’s role in the alleged scheme also raised questions about her eligibility to work as an airport commissioner based on where she lives.

Publicly available records indicate that while Crayton is registered to vote in San Francisco, she has a residence in San Leandro. A Chronicle editor visited the San Leandro address, inside a gated neighborhood, Tuesday and Wednesday. No one responded to calls to a home listed on the security system at the entrance as “Crayton L”.

The San Francisco International Airport Commissioner whom federal officials allege Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru and restaurateur Nick Bovis sought to bribe resigned Wednesday.

Linda Crayton cited a struggle with “multiple, severe medical conditions for several years” in her resignation letter to Mayor London Breed.

Nuru and Bovis were charged with wire fraud Tuesday in connection with schemes that involved trying to exchange cash and gifts for contracts at SFO and the Transbay transit center. The complaint alleges the men tried to bribe Crayton in exchange for voting to approve an airport lease for Bovis’ chicken restaurant.

Crayton, who was first appointed to the airport commission by then-Mayor Willie Brown in 1996, is listed only as “Commissioner 1” in the Justice Department’s criminal complaint against Nuru and Bovis. But Crayton’s attorney, Randall Knox, confirmed that Crayton was the target of their alleged bribery scheme.

Knox said Crayton resigned due to her frail health combined with the revelations released Tuesday, which “is a little more stress than she wants to bear right now.”