Nick Bovis, owner of Lefty O’Doul’s Ballpark Buffet and Cafe, has pleaded guilty to honest services wire fraud and wire fraud charges. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)

Nick Bovis to plead guilty in SF public corruption scandal

The restaurateur charged alongside former high-ranking city official Mohammed Nuru in a wide-sweeping FBI public corruption probe has agreed to cooperate with investigators under a plea deal, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.

Nick Bovis, owner of the famed Lefty O’Doul’s, is expected to enter a guilty plea next Thursday to honest services wire fraud and wire fraud charges, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. He was arrested alongside Nuru, the former head of San Francisco Public Works, in January on a lengthy criminal complaint.

Among the allegations facing Bovis and Nuru were that they attempted to bribe a former airport commissioner with an envelope of cash in a scheme to open up a chicken restaurant at San Francisco International Airport.

The alleged scheme never materialized and the commissioner, Linda Crayton, did not accept the money. She later resigned from the Airport Commission.

The plot was one of five that authorities detailed in the federal complaint. Investigators also accused Nuru of accepting gifts from a billionaire developer in China who had a stake in a San Francisco-based project, and accepting gifs from city contractors including a tractor and work on his vacation home.

The investigation into Nuru is ongoing and has led to other revelations, including an admission by Mayor London Breed that she had accepted a $5,600 gift from Nuru. Local law prohibits city officials from accepting gifts from subordinates.

Bovis has signed the plea agreement with prosecutors. He faces a potential sentence of up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count.

In February, Nuru stepped down from his role at Public Works.

Both men are out of custody on $2 million bond each.

mbarba@sfexaminer.com

CrimePolitics

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