Lee Heidhues 6.8.2021
I am familiar with the ways of the San Francisco Department of Building Inspection professionally and personally.
On a personal level, I have learned the hard way less benign inner workings of DBI. Third parties and other City government agencies have utilized the system to benefit themselves and harm my family.
DBI historically has been thought of as a place where the well-connected can get their way. My own experiences have reinforced this opinion.
Relationships are what it’s all about in San Francisco. People who need special services hire so called “expeditors” or, on occasion, deal directly with DBI. The motives are not always benign. The goal is more than just obtaining a Permit.
San Francisco Chronicle -J.K. Dineen – 6.8.2021
A senior San Francisco building inspector has been placed on administrative leave after he allegedly failed to report a loan from a politically connected developer for whom he had performed multiple inspections.
Senior Building Inspector Bernard Curran (pictured above right) came under scrutiny last month after admitting that he had accepted a $180,000 loan from Freydoon Ghassemzadeh, whose family business, SIA Consulting, has been one of the city’s most prolific developers in recent years, according to City Hall sources and public documents.
State records show that in March of 2020 Curran neglected to disclose the loan in his annual Form 700, a state filing that requires public officials to disclose economic interests. In a March 25 email to Human Resources Director Michele Nieve that was sent along with the form, Curran wrote “I do not have any economic interests so I believe this is all I have to fill out.” A year later — in April of this year, after being questioned by the city attorney — he amended the paperwork to include the loan.
It’s also not clear whether he intended to pay back the loan, which he said in the April disclosure had a five-year term and an interest rate of 6%.