Giulio Meinardi via Flickr Creative Commons

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the city recently announced the filing of a law suit against the engineering firm "Santos and Urrutia," alleging “an elaborate fraud scheme” that tried to cheat city codes with unlicensed alterations to homes. The accusations include using workarounds to hide illegal construction including underground activities. The work was misrepresented as uncomplicated bathroom or kitchen remodels. The suit includes charges of forgery, unlicensed contractors, phony building plans and lying to city agencies. Subterranean additions were falsely represented as fence repairs. One of the principals of the firm has been accused of using his familiarity with the Department of Building Inspection to circumvent regulation with the illegal digging sometimes threatening other nearby homes.

In January, the same Building Inspection Commission that Santos used to run forwarded complaints about three Santos projects to the city attorney, including one in which a house “fell off its site preparation shoring and slid down the property slope.”

In 2012, late Mayor Ed Lee appointed Santos to the City College Board of Trustees, calling him “a reformer.”
Santos and Urrutia has not yet responded to Curbed SF’s request for comment. For the record, note that the allegations in the city’s suit are yet to be proven by any legal standard.

Read More