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Press Release

Former San Francisco Department Of Building Inspection Engineer Pleads Guilty To Honest Services Fraud Conspiracy

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of California
Rodolfo “Rudy” Pada Admitted to Accepting Bribes in Return For Expediting and Approving Construction and Building Plan Permits

SAN FRANCISCO - Rodolfo “Rudy” Pada pleaded guilty in federal court in San Francisco today to participating in an honest services fraud conspiracy, announced Criminal Division Deputy Chief Matthew Yelovich and FBI Special Agent in Charge Robert K. Tripp. The plea was accepted by the Hon. Susan Illston, U.S. District Judge.

In pleading guilty, Pada, 68 of Millbrae, CA, admitted that he accepted bribes from individuals seeking building and construction permits from the San Francisco Department of Building Inspection. Pada worked as a plan checker at DBI from 1984 to September 2017, reviewing and approving construction plans and providing builders with the permits necessary for residential and commercial construction projects in San Francisco.

According to the plea agreement, the bribes to Pada, which began in 2003 and continued until September 2017, consisted of cash, free meals, drinks, and other benefits, paid by executives at a construction planning and design firm. Pada accepted the bribes in return for expediting and approving permits for their building and construction plans. In addition, Pada solicited and accepted an interest-free $85,000 loan facilitated by one of the executives.

DBI is a regulatory city agency in San Francisco responsible for overseeing enforcement of building, electrical, plumbing, and housing codes for the City of San Francisco’s more than 200,000 commercial and residential buildings. Contractors and builders submit construction plans to DBI for approval and permitting; the plans are required to be reviewed and approved by DBI to insure that the proposed construction and building meets city codes and regulations.

Pada, was initially charged by a criminal complaint in May 2022. On Nov. 3, 2023, Pada was charged by Information with one count of conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1349. Under the plea agreement, Pada pleaded guilty to the single count in the Information.

Judge Illston scheduled Pada’s sentencing hearing for March 29, 2024. The maximum statutory penalty is 20 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. However, any sentence will be imposed by the court only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.

Assistant U.S. Attorney David Ward is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Aarian Beiti. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Updated December 8, 2023