Ex-San Francisco official’s ‘robbery’ was just bad joke

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — San Francisco’s former public works director, who resigned after being charged in a City Hall corruption case, won’t face criminal charges for an alleged armed robbery that turned out to be a bad joke, the prosecutor’s office announced Thursday.

Mohammed Nuru, 58, was booked into jail on suspicion of attempted robbery on Wednesday after reportedly trying to steal a bag of potato chips from someone in a break room at the San Francisco-Marin Food Bank, where Nuru was volunteering.

In a statement, the office of District Attorney Chesa Boudin said Nuru was in the kitchen “when he held up a kitchen knife and appeared to have joked about taking someone’s potato chips.”

“An independent witness corroborated that this appeared to have been said in jest,” the statement said. “There was no evidence that he actually tried to take the potato chips; this appears to have been an inappropriate and misguided attempt at humor.”

Nuru resigned his post last year after being charged with fraud and lying to the FBI. Prosecutors allege he took thousands of dollars in gifts and cash from contractors. They also allege that he conspired with a restaurateur in 2018 to bribe an airport commissioner for prime restaurant space at San Francisco International Airport.

Nuru’s case is still in the courts.

In February, a recycling plant owner was sentenced to federal prison after stating in a plea agreement that he plied Nuru with gifts that included a $36,500 gold Rolex watch.

About a dozen people have been charged with corruption in a sweeping City Hall probe. Multiple city department heads have been forced to resign.

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