SFO Commissioner Linda Crayton resigns amidst corruption scandal

ByMelanie Woodrow KGO logo
Thursday, January 30, 2020
SFO Commissioner Linda Crayton resigns amidst corruption scandal
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ABC7 News has learned SFO Commissioner Linda Crayton has submitted her resignation to the mayor's office Wednesday in the wake of a corruption scandal, according to her attorney.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- New developments in the corruption scandal rocking San Francisco City Government. The San Francisco International Airport Commissioner who did not accept a bribe from indicted Director of the Department of Public Works Mohammed Nuru and Restaurateur Nick Bovis has now resigned.

She submitted her resignation letter to Mayor London Breed on Wednesday. ABC7 I-Team Reporter Melanie Woodrow broke this story.

According to her resignation letter, SFO Commissioner Linda Crayton is resigning for health reasons. She has served as a member of the commission for more than 20 years.

According to a criminal complaint, Director of the Department of Public Works Mohammed Nuru and Restaurateur Nick Bovis offered SFO Commissioner Linda Crayton $5,000 cash and a free trip for her assistance in helping Bovis win a bid to run a restaurant at SFO.

In April of 2018, Nuru, Bovis and Crayton along with federal confidential sources and a federal undercover employee met for dinner. While Crayton did not accept the cash, San Francisco Supervisor Aaron Peskin says what Crayton was recorded saying at the dinner according to the criminal complaint was unethical and inappropriate.

"The words about doing unwarranted favors, the words about being able to control the outcome of a decision at the commission, the words about the airport director owing his job to this individual are spine tingling," said Peskin.

By phone Tuesday night, Crayton told ABC7 I-Team Reporter Melanie Woodrow she had done nothing wrong and that her integrity means a lot to her.

RELATED: San Francisco Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru, Lefty O'Doul's owner arrested by FBI on corruption charges

Supervisor Peskin had planned to publicly call for her resignation before learning she would be submitting it.

"While the individual did not take the bribe it is not appropriate for that person to continue as an airport commissioner," said Peskin.

In her letter to Mayor Breed, Crayton writes she's been struggling with multiple, severe medical conditions.

In part writing, "... the demands of my medical treatment have increased to the point that I cannot continue to serve on the Commission."

Via email, Crayton's Attorney, Randall Knox, submitted the following statements to ABC7 News from Crayton and from him.

Statement from Linda Crayton

"I am stepping down from the Airport Commission because my health problems are simply too severe, and my treatment regimen too demanding, to continue. Moreover, given the alarming revelations this week, I do not want to be a distraction for the City, the Airport, the Commission or our wonderful staff. But I do want to reiterate what is made clear in the federal complaint released yesterday: I played no part in any contracting scheme. Period. I have always sought to do what's right for the City that I love, and it was among my greatest honors to be able to serve."

Statement from Crayton's Attorney, Randall Knox

"Linda Crayton has served the Airport Commission for the City and County of San Francisco since 1996, through the administrations of Mayors Brown, Newsom, Lee, Farrell and Breed. She has always considered her integrity, openness and access to the public as fundamental to her public service. Even before the recent investigation into the bidding process at SFO, Linda was enduring personal health issues that required extensive medical treatment. Linda is innocent of any wrongdoing and she intends to cooperate fully with authorities if asked. Because of concerns for her health, Linda has decided to discontinue her service on the Airport Commission and she has submitted her letter of resignation to Mayor London Breed. Linda appreciates the importance of the Airport Commission and understands the need to remove any distractions and to allow the appointment of her successor to ensure a quorum of Commissioners necessary to serve the City."