SAN FRANCISCO—On February 18, the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office announced that charges against Bernard “Bernie” Curran, a former Senior Building Inspector from the Department of Building Inspections (DBI). He surrendered on a SFDA arrest warrant alleging multiple counts of perjury and violations of local conflict of interest laws. The arrest and charges are the result of an investigation by the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office Public Integrity Taskforce into alleged corruption at DBI.
“My office is committed to rooting out public corruption and ensuring equal justice under the law,” said District Attorney Chesa Boudin. “In my administration, no one is above the law—and public officials who breach public trust will be held accountable.”
According to a press release from the SFDA’s Office, in March 2017, while working for the San Francisco Department of Building Inspections as a Building Inspector, Curran is alleged to have obtained a $180,000 loan from a local developer that remained outstanding until May 2020. During that time frame, the defendant allegedly created a conflict of interest with the developer – performing building inspections and signing-off on building permits for their projects.
In addition to the financial conflict of interest involved in the loan, Curran allegedly failed to disclose that he received the loan on his mandatory government Statement of Economic Interests forms, known as Form 700s. While conducting their investigation, the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office revealed that Curran received tens of thousands of dollars from several other homeowners where he performed and signed off on building inspection permits. He never disclosed any of those payments on his Form 700 filings.
The defendant worked at the San Francisco Department of Building Inspections from 2005 until mid-2021, when he resigned from the department. In addition to the charges brought by the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, he was charged federally with honest services wire fraud, related to Department of Building Inspection permits Curran approved for people who made donations to his preferred charitable organizations. He is scheduled to be arraigned on Thursday, March 17, 2022.