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City worker charged in connection with San Francisco community grant bribery scheme

A woman walks out of court.
Lanita Henriquez walks out of the courtroom after pleading not guilty at the Hall of Justice on August 31, 2023. | Source: Jonah Owen Lamb/The Standard


The San Francisco District Attorney’s Office has charged a city human resources manager for allegedly aiding another city official suspected of running a kickback scheme in exchange for city contracts, according to the complaint. 

Stanley Ellicott, 38, an employee in the city’s human resources department, was charged Thursday with eight felony counts over allegations he helped a businessman funnel bribes to a city official in return for favorable treatment. 

That city official, Lanita Henriquez, the former head of San Francisco's Community Challenge Grant Program, was charged last year for allegedly taking bribes from businessman Rudolph Dwayne Jones, who in exchange was awarded contracts by the city. Henriquez had been on administrative leave but has since resigned.

The complicated scheme involved bribery in exchange for public contracts overseen by Henriquez, whom Jones once dated. Henriquez, in turn, used family and friends as go-betweens to hide the source of kickbacks, according to court documents.

The new charges also show that Ellicott was allegedly also used as an in-between, who funneled bribes between Jones and Henriquez.

A person in a red blouse is opening a glass door, with another person peeking from behind a yellow door.
Lanita Henriquez walks out of the courtroom after pleading not guilty at the Hall of Justice in August. | Source: Jonah Lamb/The Standard

Officials said that Henriquez, as the head of a program that issues grants to pay for neighborhood improvement projects, was uniquely positioned to send contracts to Jones, who illegally paid her for special treatment.

Both Henriquez and Jones have pleaded not guilty. 

Ellicott, meanwhile, has yet to be arraigned and remains in county jail.

Ellicott has also been put on administrative leave pending an internal investigation, and the Department of Human Resources said there is no indication his alleged actions are in any way linked to his work for the city.

“The Department of Human Resources was shocked and angered to learn of serious allegations of misconduct by an employee,” a spokesman for the department said. 

New Charges

The DA alleges the scheme involving Ellicott occurred from May 2017 to July 2021. Ellicott was paid nearly $270,000 in city grant funds by Jones’ company for doing technical work. However, his involvement with that work was never publicly reported. Ellicott then allegedly paid Henriquez, who issued the grants, more than $65,000.

Ellicott also allegedly sold thousands of dollars of cameras and electronics on eBay, purchased with grant money issued by Henriquez and meant for earthquake supplies for neighborhood groups, according to the affidavit.

Meanwhile, according to the new filings, Jones submitted $100,000 in invoices for work his company never performed. 

The Larger Scheme

The alleged scheme involved Henriquez getting bribes in exchange for contracts. In all, Jones was awarded roughly $1.4 million in contracts by Henriquez between 2016 and 2020, according to court documents.

Jones paid Henriquez, her family and friends nearly $200,000. She, in turn, gave him insider information as the sole person tasked with issuing grants and making sure those monies were spent fairly, the DA’s investigation found.

A man walks into a courtroom.
Rudolph Dwayne Jones heads to court in the Hall of Justice at 850 Bryant St. in September. | Source: Jonah Lamb/The Standard

The plan began with Jones’ control of two companies and a nonprofit, according to court records. The companies did the work, and the nonprofit acted as a fiscal sponsor for the companies, a requirement of the program. That nonprofit, the Southeast Consortium for Equitable Partnerships, has a board made up of Jones’ wife, sister, two employees and someone he paid $25,000, according to court documents.

Jones’ work spread across the city. He had contracts with seven city departments and the nonprofit A. Philip Randolph Institute, which served as a fiscal sponsor for a number of projects he was awarded by Henriquez.

The projects included everything from purchasing emergency preparedness supplies for the Miraloma Park Improvement Club to assisting with a project at a garden at Denman Middle School.

Jonah Owen Lamb can be reached at jonah@sfstandard.com