Dwayne Jones, a longtime fixture in San Francisco politics, is being held in county jail Wednesday on a $50,000 bond after being charged in the latest corruption scandal to rock City Hall.
An entry on the San Francisco County Jail website showed Jones—who goes by his middle name instead of his first name, Rudolph—was booked at 3:37 p.m. Wednesday and is being held on numerous charges, including bribery, misappropriation of public money and aiding and abetting a financial conflict of interest in a government contract.
An investigation by the District Attorney’s Office and the FBI concluded that Jones and Lanita Henriquez, the director of San Francisco’s Community Challenge Grant Program, entered into contracts totaling more than $1.4 million and that those contracts led to Jones giving kickbacks worth no less than $188,000 to Henriquez, her family members and associates.
“The public funds allocated to the City’s Community Challenge Grant Program are intended to benefit the communities of our city—not to line the pockets of government officials,” District Attorney Brooke Jenkins said in a statement Tuesday. “My office will continue to investigate allegations of misconduct by public officials and employees, and our work with our federal partners will be a key part of that effort.”
Henriquez, 53, was arrested on Tuesday but was not listed as being in custody as of Wednesday afternoon. She is due to appear in court at 9 a.m. Thursday morning, according to the San Francisco Superior Court’s website.
Henqiruez did not respond to a message requesting comment Wednesday.
A listing on Jones’ company website, RDJ Enterprises, notes that he has 25 years of experience in community and economic development and “has been instrumental in the drafting and implementation of local hiring legislation, local business contracting goals, community benefit agreements and local economic development efforts.”
Starting in 2004, Jones served as the director of the Mayor’s Office of Community Development under then-Mayor Gavin Newsom and rose to the rank of deputy chief of staff in 2006, according to his company’s website. He served in the Mayor’s Office until 2010, according to a LinkedIn page that was taken down after the charges were announced Tuesday. In 2011, then-Mayor Ed Lee appointed Jones to serve on a subcommittee that monitored contracts under the Human Rights Commission, according to the company website.
After leaving City Hall, Jones worked as a lobbyist with Platinum Advisors and went on to start his own company.
In total, Henriquez and Jones each face the following charges: one count of misappropriation of public money, six counts of bribery and 23 counts of aiding and abetting a financial conflict of interest in a government contract.
The City Administrator's Office, which oversees the Community Challenge Grant Program, issued a statement Tuesday evening saying it was cooperating fully with law enforcement’s ongoing investigation.
“There is no tolerance for the alleged actions described in the charges and that are contradictory to our core values of accountability and public service,” officials said. “We remain committed to the work we've started with the Mayor and the Board of Supervisors to ensure fairness and transparency in the City's grantmaking processes.”
It is unclear if the charges against Jones and Henriquez are in any way connected to the corruption scandal that led to the conviction of former Public Works head Mohammed Nuru and others.
Josh Koehn can be reached at email@example.com