Former San Francisco Building Inspection Engineer Admits to Bribery and Fraud, Awaits Sentencing

Former San Francisco Building Inspection Engineer Admits to Bribery and Fraud, Awaits SentencingSource: Google Street View
Tony Ng
Published on December 09, 2023

In a recent revelation within San Francisco's city bureaucracy, a long-time engineer, Rodolfo "Rudy" Pada, has pleaded guilty to engaging in corrupt activities during his tenure at the San Francisco Department of Building Inspection (DBI). Pada, a former DBI employee, admitted to participating in an honest services fraud conspiracy that tarnished his decades-long career. The announcement, made by Criminal Division Deputy Chief Matthew Yelovich and FBI Special Agent in Charge Robert K. Tripp, sheds light on Pada's illicit actions catching up with him.

Appearing before U.S. District Judge Susan Illston, the 68-year-old Pada, confessed to accepting bribes in exchange for expediting and approving building permits. Initially charged in May and later accused of conspiracy to commit honest service wire fraud, Pada used his position to favor those willing to offer him bribes. His sentencing is scheduled for March 29, 2024, with the possibility of a 20-year prison term and a quarter-million-dollar fine, as reported by the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Pada's wrongdoing included accepting cash, free meals, drinks, and other unauthorized benefits from construction firm executives. The plea agreement disclosed that Pada's corruption went beyond immediate gains, involving an $85,000 interest-free loan provided by one of the executives seeking his favor.

The San Francisco DBI is entrusted with upholding the integrity of the city's structural landscape and ensuring that building codes and regulations are followed to guarantee the safety and legality of construction projects. Pada's actions, spanning his time at the DBI since 1984, betrayed this mission, putting the city's buildings and inhabitants at risk. The Department of Justice warns that schemes like Pada's not only erode public confidence but also compromise the quality and safety of San Francisco's structures. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney David Ward, alongside Aarian Beiti leading the prosecution, uncovered this shadowy aspect of city oversight. As Pada awaits his sentence, he faces the consequences of years spent undermining the processes established to ensure the safety and compliance of San Francisco's buildings.