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Contractor accused of bribing SF official in fraud scheme

Investigators with the US Attorney’s office say a contractor bribed a top San Francisco official in a bid to win a contract to change city lights to LED technology, reports ABC7 News.

Authorities have identified the contractor as Walter Wong and the official as the general manager of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, Harlan Kelly.

Kelly has been charged with  honest services wire fraud. He allegedly accepted bribes from Wong including international vacations and meals, hotels and jewelry purchases.

“I am not guilty of these allegations. I have devoted my entire career to public service,” Kelly said in a statement made available to NBC Bay Area. “As many of my colleagues at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission are aware, I had intended to retire in the next 18 months. Unfortunately, I need to leave my position now in order to defend myself, my legacy and my family. It is painful for me to end a 35-year career as a result of false allegations, but it is simply not possible for me to do my job to the best of my ability while also defending myself. I know that stepping aside now is in the best interests of the City, the SFPUC, and my family.”

Others were less forgiving.

“This is corruption 101, bribery 101,” San Francisco Supervisor Matt Haney said to NBC Bay Area. “This is the type of behavior that should never be acceptable in government.”

According to Fox 2, Kelly shared confidential information with Wong and delayed the process to give him the advantage in the bidding. However, in the end, Fox2 said Wong withdrew his bid.

No charges have been announced against him.

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