The $1.3 million that was embezzled from a city account overseen by the Association of Bay Area Governments and intended to fund public infrastructure improvements in San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood will be repaid by the Association.
ABAG will use its own reserve funds to fully restore the missing $1,296,340.66, which was withdrawn from the City’s account without the knowledge or approval of San Francisco city officials. The legal documents effectuating the transfer of funds, a transfer which is likely be triple checked, should be finalized by early next week.
“The misuse of public funds for private gain is among the worst betrayals of public trust in government, and I applaud ABAG for doing the right thing by acting quickly to restore funds that were apparently embezzled from the City’s account,” said City Attorney Dennis Herrera. “This decisive step will enable the South of Market Community Stabilization Committee to continue its work to improve neighborhood infrastructure.”
A former senior ABAG official, Clarke Howett, is suspected of orchestrating the embezzlement scheme.