Julia Dawson (Courtesy Public Works)

Julia Dawson (Courtesy Public Works)

Nuru scandal: Official who knew about Recology overcharging is out

A top finance official left her role with the Department of Public Works Friday after being named in a controversy involving the trash collection company Recology overcharging its customers for years.

Julia Dawson is departing after more than seven years as the director for finance and administration, acting Public Works head Alaric Degrafinried said in an internal email obtained by the San Francisco Examiner. She has worked for The City for 24 years, having served in positions at several other departments.

While Degrafinried did not offer a reason for her departure and thanked Dawson for her service, the news comes a month after she became a figure in the scandal surrounding former Public Works head Mohammed Nuru.

Emails show Dawson was alerted in January 2019 or earlier to an error in a request for a rate increase from Recology that led to customers being charged an extra $86.6 million since July 2017.

The company was granted a 14 percent rate increase — instead of a 7 percent hike — because it underreported its revenues.

While records show Dawson worked with an outside consultant to analyze the error, customers continued to be overcharged until City Attorney Dennis Herrera reached an agreement with Recology last month to reverse the erroneous portion of the rate increase and repay customers.

DPW spokesperson Rachel Gordon said, “Julia Dawson has retired from city service on her own accord.”

“There are ongoing investigations related to the Recology rate setting process and to this date we have seen no evidence that Julia Dawson was involved in criminal wrongdoing,” Gordon said.

John Porter, the former Recology executive who discussed the revenue error with Dawson, has since been charged by federal authorities for allegedly bribing Nuru with a $20,000 donation to a nonprofit.

The alleged bribe was not directly related to the rate-setting process but to fees Recology charged The City for dumping materials, according to the complaint against Porter.

However, the complaint alleged the donation was part of a broader pattern of Recology seeking to “keep Mohammed happy.”



Bay Area Newssan francisco news

Just Posted

Cabernet sauvignon grapes sat in a container after being crushed at Smith-Madrone Winery in St. Helena. (Courtesy Smith-Madrone Winery)
San Francisco’s ‘Champagne problems’ — Wine industry suffers supply chain woes

‘Everywhere you turn, things that were easy are no longer easy’

Glasses behind the bar at LUNA in the Mission District on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021. Glassware is just one of the many things restaurants have had trouble keeping in stock as supply chain problems ripple outward. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
SF restaurants face product shortages and skyrocketing costs

‘The supply chain crisis has impacted us in almost every way imaginable’

A Giants fans hangs his head in disbelief after the Dodgers won the NLDS in a controversial finish to a tight Game 5. (Chris Victorio/Special to The Examiner)
Giants dream season ends at the hands of the Dodgers, 2-1

A masterful game comes down to the bottom of the ninth, and San Francisco came up short

<strong>Workers with Urban Alchemy and the Downtown Streets Team clean at Seventh and Market streets on Oct. 12. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins> </strong>
Why is it so hard to keep San Francisco’s streets clean?

Some blame bureaucracy, others say it’s the residents’ fault

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi — seen in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday — touted Congressional Democrats’ infrastructure bill in San Francisco on Thursday. (Stefani Reynolds/The New York Times)
Pelosi touts infrastructure bill as it nears finish line

Climate change, social safety net among major priorities of Democrats’ 10-year funding measure

Most Read