On Jan. 30, the California Board for Professional Engineers moved to revoke Rodrigo Santos’s engineering licenses. This came 17 days after the civil engineer, permit expediter and former president of San Francisco Building Inspection Commission pleaded guilty in federal court to 10 counts of bank fraud and five counts of tax evasion, falsifying records in a federal investigation, and wire fraud.
Since being federally charged in May, 2020, he has remained out on bond and has even continued to work on building projects.
Santos has been in legal trouble for quite some time. In 2018, he was sued by the City Attorney’s Office for alleged check fraud and permit forgery. But he still showed up at the city’s permit center frequently — at times, on a daily basis.
He was most recently spotted there yesterday.
In 2020, a Department of Building Inspection spokesperson told Mission Local that there is no “law that would give DBI the authority to deny a state-licensed engineer the ability to obtain permits from a public department.”
Legislation from Supervisor Hillary Ronen in 2021 led DBI to establish a list of bad actors on “Expanded Compliance Control.” At present, the list is composed of Rodrigo Santos — and nobody else.
Mission Local has learned that, at the urging of the City Attorney, all of Santos’ plans have long required an additional layer of quality control and sign-off from a manager.
On behalf of DBI, spokesperson Patrick Hannan said: “We do not know if he is still practicing. If the state board revokes his engineering license, he will not be eligible to provide engineering services in California, so we would not accept engineering documents or reports submitted under his stamp.”
The State Board’s case moves to revoke or suspend Santos’s license for conviction of a substantially related crime; misrepresentation, fraud, or deceit in practice; and unprofessional conduct. He will also have to pay the board for the costs of investigation and enforcement of the case.
Santos will continue to be out of custody on $100,000 bail until his sentencing hearing, scheduled for June 30, 2023.