A federal judge has sentenced a disgraced San Francisco building inspector to a year in prison after pleading guilty to corrupt dealings with a developer.

District Judge Susan Illston sentenced Bernie Curran to federal prison for receiving unlawful payments from people whose properties he inspected and approved, According to the San Francisco Business Times.

Corrant, 62, was granted a year after Earlston rejected a request for family detention. In December, he pleaded guilty to two counts of receiving unlawful payments.

One involved a $260,000 loan he took from an unnamed developer whose properties he regularly inspected. Another involved donations to his favorite youth sports nonprofit from people who wanted him to inspect their properties.

Curran worked in the Building Inspection Division from 2005 until resigning as Senior Building Inspector during administrative leave in May 2021.

In his plea agreement, he admitted to receiving illegal payments from the two in connection with his official duties.

The first was a local real estate developer with whom Curran struck up a friendship in the 1990s. The second is an engineer who is working with the project owner and contractor in San Francisco to seek building permits.

Curran was suspended for the first time for failing to provide a loan to a politically connected developer whom he had conducted numerous checks on.

He first came under scrutiny after admitting he had taken a $180,000 loan from Freydoon Ghassemzadeh, whose family business, SIA Consulting, is a prolific developer in town.

The loan was discovered during an ongoing investigation of the building inspection unit by the City Attorney’s Public Integrity Unit and led to the resignation of the unit’s former director, Tom Hui.

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Mr Xu was suspended for allegedly accepting gifts from developers and license expediters, and resigned last March.

Curran also worked with former San Francisco building commissioner and structural engineer Rodrigo Santos, who told clients to “give Curran credit” for charitable donations of $500 to $1,500 to a nonprofit sports organization. In exchange, Curran will provide preferential treatment.

— Dana Bartholomew

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