Testimony begins in graft, corruption case
involving building inspection official
Former San Francisco Department of Building Inspection manager
is accused of 33 counts of bribery, fraud and perjury.
By Brent Begin, Bay City News Service
March 20, 2007
SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) - The lawyer for a former San Francisco
Department of Building Inspection manager accused of graft and
corruption said today his client was set up by an unscrupulous
The statement comes in response to 33 counts of bribery, fraud
and perjury handed down by the San Francisco district attorney's
Augustine "Gus" Fallay, who was arrested in August
2005, faces more than 20 years in prison if convicted. His attorney,
Randy Knox gave his opening statement today.
He said the blame should go to Tony Fu, a "friend"
of Fallay who would eventually wear a wiretap as an informant
for the FBI.
Fu had arranged for a $50,000 loan for Fallay and, according
to Knox, he turned the loan into blackmail material later on because
Fallay refused to do him any "favors."
Defense Attorney Randall Knox
But prosecutors say the loan was a bribe all along and that six
months of recorded conversations prove it.
Assistant District Attorney Marc Katz said Monday afternoon that
Fallay was involved with, "Bribes, lies and public corruption."
He offered examples of the $50,000 check, an alleged insurance
scam and a list of smaller bribes and free lunches as examples.
Assistant District Attorney Marc Katz
Fallay was beholden to a special set of rules as a public official,
Katz said, to not accept sweetheart deals and to report all questionable
In total, prosecutors accuse Fallay of six separate incidents
in which he pulled strings and used his position to get building
But Knox said his client is a "decent, honest, humble man"
who wasn't perfect but hadn't committed any crime.
Testimony is expected to continue Wednesday in Department 613
in the Civic Center Courthouse in San Francisco.
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