Fired building official wants his job back

A former San Francisco building official who lost his job two years ago amid unproven corruption allegations will meet with city officials Wednesday in an attempt to get his old job back.

Augustine Fallay was head of the Department of Building Inspection’s one-stop permit program when he was arrested in August 2005 and subsequently charged with bribery, perjury and insurance fraud. Prosecutors dropped the high-profile case in June 2007 after all 31 charges were either acquitted or deadlocked by a jury.

A spokeswoman for District Attorney Kamala Harris on Monday confirmed that the case against Fallay is dead. “A final decision was made at the time not to retry the matter,” said Erica Terry-Derryck. Fallay was told that the department intended to terminate him in an October 2005 letter sent by acting-department Director Amy Lee, who listed charges against Fallay in the letter that she said were based on The City’s own internal investigations, including allegations that Fallay accepted gifts and more than $50,000 from people who had projects before The City.

In the letter, Lee also invited Fallay to a November 2005 hearing to respond to The City’s charges.

An attorney for Fallay’s union, the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, replied to Lee before the scheduled meeting. In a letter, lawyer Duane Reno asked Lee to postpone the meeting because Fallay wanted “to exercise his Fifth Amendment rights until there has been a resolution of the criminal proceedings.”

But that request was rejected by City Attorney Dennis Herrera, who said in a letter that the Fifth Amendment wasn’t applicable since Fallay would not be compelled to testify at the meeting. Fallay did not attend the hearing, and he was subsequently terminated by the department.

Now, four months after Fallay’s attorney filed a Supreme Court petition to force The City to begin arbitration hearings with Fallay, The City has agreed to hold an arbitration hearing on Wednesday, according to his attorney.

The City Attorney’s office declined to discuss the hearing. “We wouldn’t be saying anything about that case,” said spokesman Matt Dorsey.

jupton@examiner.com

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