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Union files against City of San Francisco, alleging retaliation

sf city hall wally gobetz.jpg
Wally Gobetz
/
Flickr / Creative Commons
San Francisco's City Hall

Union leaders say city authorities retaliated against whistleblowers who helped spark a federal corruption probe of the Public Works and Public Utility Departments.

Workers said the city did not respond quickly to initial complaints of high-level corruption. Whistle blowers claimed department heads were diverting public funds for improper use. They brought the complaint to federal authorities, who began a widespread, ongoing corruption probe.

The city workers’ suit alleges the city harassed and discriminated against them in retaliation for their whistleblowing. They say they were denied access to bathrooms and handwashing stations as part of a retaliation.

The federal corruption has resulted in charges for a dozen other defendants and last month’s guilty plea by former Department of Public Works Director Mohammed Nuru.

The lawsuit was filed in San Francisco Superior Court by the Laborers International Union, Local 261.

The City Attorney's Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the suit.