Bernie Curran, a former senior inspector at the Department of Building Inspection who last year abruptly quit following multiple scandals, is now being charged by the District Attorney on multiple counts of conflict of interest and perjury.
Curran already faces federal bribery charges. The senior inspector, who worked for DBI from 2005 to 2021, allegedly approved permits for clients of engineer and permit expediter Rodrigo Santos, who donated to Curran’s favored charitable organizations.
The criminal charges involve a $180,000 “loan” that Curran accepted in March, 2017, and which was still outstanding in 2020. Freydoon Ghassemzadeh, whose family runs the prominent San Francisco developer SIA Consulting, gave Curran the “loan.”
This “loan” was uncovered last year by the City Attorney; Curran had failed to denote it on his government statements of economic interest. He was made to retroactively include it and, shortly thereafter, resign.
Although Curran was a senior inspector, he performed scores or even hundreds of inspections citywide, outside of his usual role, signed off on several SIA Consulting permitting projects and performed inspections of their buildings from 2017 to 2020.
Curran, the District Attorney’s office stated today, allegedly did the same for several families who ended up gifting him tens of thousands of dollars during his 16 years at DBI. The DA would not share details prior to the arraignment, which is slated for March 17.
“My office is committed to rooting out public corruption and ensuring equal justice under the law,” said DA Chesa Boudin. “In my administration, no one is above the law, and public officials who breach public trust will be held accountable.”
Mission Local has written extensively about Curran and his role in rampant corruption the Department of Building Inspection. Most notably, the Utah Street building where Curran “took care of” a permit, even though the violations hadn’t been remedied, is the same one where Paul Pelosi, Jr. had presented himself to DBI as the liaison between the owners and building department, and had purportedly asked another building inspector for help in cleaning up violations.
Curran also traveled out of his district to sign off on a final inspection at 2867 San Bruno Ave., a building with almost no recorded inspections, meaning the quality of the work is wholly unknown. Additionally, 19 illegal units were shoehorned into this structure.