By Linh Nguyen
SAN FRANCISCO, CA — San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin this week announced that Gerald “Jerry” Sanguinetti, a former Bureau Manager for San Francisco Public Works, was arrested on five felony charges for perjury and two misdemeanor charges for failure to file financial disclosure statements in violation of the San Francisco Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code.
Sanguinetti allegedly failed to disclose over a quarter of a million dollars of outside income on required financial disclosure statements. His misdemeanor charges are for allegedly failing to file for 2018 and 2019.
The law states that designated public employees are required to disclose their outside sources of income, business investments and spouse’s income each year on a Form 700 Statement of Economic Interest, which they must attest to under penalty of perjury.
Sanguinetti violated this law from 2013 to 2019 by allegedly failing to disclose his interest from “SDL Merchandising,” a company that did business with the city’s public works department and was nominally owned by Sanguinetti’s wife Gina Sanguinetti.
According to financial and business records obtained during the District Attorney’s office’s nine-month investigation, SDL Merchandising received $262,946.73 in payments from the sub-accounts of the San Francisco Parks Alliance, a non-profit organization.
These payments were invoiced by Gina Sanguinetti to Public Works for merchandise. Public Works employees made payments to the San Francisco Parks Alliance for the purchase of custom-made shirts, caps and other items.
Public Works employees, including former Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru, approved these payments, issued checks from the Parks Alliance and deposited them into four different bank accounts controlled by the Sanguinetti’s.
Witnesses said that the Public Works purchases from SDL Merchandising were “no-bid” and cost significantly more than other vendors’ quotes. Public Works employees were also told to rely on SDL Merchandising for purchasing t-shirts and other similar merchandise.
One employee’s attempt to compare quotes with other vendors revealed that SDL Merchandising charged twice the price other vendors quoted. That employee then attempted to replace SDL Merchandising with a new vendor, but was warned that “the Director [former Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru] wouldn’t like that.”
Gerald Sanguinetti committed perjury when he allegedly repeatedly stated on his annual financial disclosures that he had “no reportable interests” and failed to disclose this income, according to charges.
DA investigators, with help from the San Mateo Police Department Officers, arrested Sanguinetti. The San Francisco District Attorney’s Office’s Public Integrity Task Force investigated this case and the District Attorney’s Office’s Special Prosecutions Unit is prosecuting it.
“Public employees must serve the public, not use their position for their own financial gain,” said DA Boudin.
“Failing to disclose financial conflicts of interest while profiting from the city’s expense violates public trust. When public employees break the law, my administration will hold them accountable. No one in San Francisco is above the law,” Boudin declared.