San Francisco Mayor London Breed on Friday admitted having a 20-year friendship and brief romantic relationship with a former city worker now under FBI investigation, prompting some to call for her resignation.
“I write this in the spirit of transparency because in the wake of a scandal at City Hall, I think San Franciscans are entitled to hear directly from their Mayor,” Breed wrote in a post on Medium of her association with former San Francisco public works director Mohammed Nuru, who was indicted for public corruption last month.
At a news conference, Breed explained she wrote the post because there were “a number of rumors” swirling and she wanted San Franciscans to hear about the relationship directly from her, the Bay Area’s FOX 2 reported.
Breed wrote she was profoundly shocked and disappointed when she heard about the charges against Nuru.
“To be clear,” she wrote. “I never asked Mohammed Nuru to do anything improper, and he never asked me to do anything improper.”
Still, she admitted accepting $5,600 from Nuru last year for a car repair she hasn’t paid back yet. She said the disclosure was not required but she did it out of transparency.
Supervisor Gordon Mar suggested the mayor should temporarily step back from her duties, according to FOX 2.
“Mayor Breed’s admission of thousands of dollars in unreported gifts from a subordinate is likely illegal, certainly unethical, and part of a culture of casual corruption that is eroding the faith of the public,” Mar said in a statement. “Given the seriousness of this admission, the direct connection to the central figure in the FBI’s investigation into public corruption, I believe we need to put the people of San Francisco first. I believe Mayor Breed should do the right thing and temporarily step back from her duties until a full, independent investigation can be completed.”
“Mayor Breed’s admission of thousands of dollars in unreported gifts from a subordinate is likely illegal, certainly unethical, and part of a culture of casual corruption that is eroding the faith of the public.”
Supervisor Hillary Ronen, a political opponent, called the admission “troubling” and said Breed should resign.
Supervisor Dean Preston said Breed should appear before the Board of Supervisors.
“I am deeply concerned with revelations today that Mayor London Breed violated San Francisco law by taking thousands of dollars in gifts from a City Hall subordinate,” he tweeted.
Breed added, “I will not apologize for dating someone two decades ago. I will not apologize for remaining close friends with him and his family for 20 more years. But neither will I make excuses for any misdeeds.”
Nuru and restaurant owner Nick Bovis were arrested late last month and charged with corruption and lying to the FBI.
They are accused of attempting to bribe an airport commissioner to vote in favor of allowing a business owned by Bovis at the airport and accepting gifts from a Chinese developer in town for business, FOX 2 reported.
Nuru resigned this week but both men deny the accusations.