SAN FRANCISCO — A federal jury on Wednesday convicted a San Francisco housing executive of 30 felony counts of bribery and making false statements in connection with a scandal that netted 22 people.
Following a yearlong FBI probe, the case against San Francisco Housing Authority executive Patricia Williams was among the final prosecutions in a scam that ensnared two city officials and 20 others seeking to falsely obtain subsidized housing.
“The U.S. attorney’s office is gratified that the jury returned guilty verdicts in this case,” said Robert Mueller, U.S. attorney for the Northern District of California. “Public officials who take bribes and make false statements ... abuse the public trust.”
Prosecutors said Williams conspired with others, including former housing official Yolanda Jones, to sell access to public housing units and Section 8 rental vouchers for as much as $2,500.
Williams was accused of receiving more than $34,000 in bribes from renters, all of whom would not have qualified for subsidized housing.
Williams’ jury, after three days deliberating, failed to reach a decision on 12 other counts of accepting bribes and lying to federal authorities. Jurors found her innocent of seven related charges.
Jury foreman Greg McGiboney said Williams wasn’t corrupt, but fell to temptation.
Numerous witnesses testified that they either gave Williams money or saw her take money in exchange for helping secure public housing. All 20 have been convicted or pleaded guilty.
Jones, 39, was the only other city official ensnared in the FBI investigation. Jones, who no longer works for the city, pleaded guilty to 10 felonies in connection to the scam and testified against Williams.
Williams is a 23-year housing agency veteran who supervised the Housing Authority’s relocation office from 1996 to 1999. She is free on bail and immediately left the San Francisco courtroom with her attorney, Randy Sue Pollock. They refused to comment.
U.S. District Court Judge Charles Legge set a Jan. 13 sentencing date for the 57-year-old woman, who potentially faces life in prison. She is on unpaid leave from her $72,400-a-year position.