Alert: San Francisco is currently under a Public Health Order that requires residents to stay home except for essential needs and services. This order is in effect through May 3. San Francisco is also under a statewide stay at home order, which has no end date. Find information on temporary service rules for the City and County of San Francisco here. To learn more about the City’s Public Health Order, visit

Herrera uncovers $420,000 in check fraud by former building commission president

City Attorney Dennis Herrera

Forged permit scandal at Santos & Urrutia Associates grows to nine properties

SAN FRANCISCO (March 12, 2020) — City Attorney Dennis Herrera announced today that a lawsuit filed against construction engineering firm Santos & Urrutia Associates Inc., its principals, and several clients and contractors has been expanded to include check fraud and to add six more properties that were part of complex schemes to circumvent state and local building laws that protect workers and the public.

The amended civil complaint, which was filed Jan. 22, 2020 and partially unsealed today in San Francisco Superior Court, now includes a total of nine properties involved in permit fraud. Additionally, the amended complaint adds allegations that former Building Inspection Commission President Rodrigo Santos and his firm stole more than $420,000 from clients through check fraud. Herrera initially brought the lawsuit in September 2018 after he discovered unpermitted excavations at three properties where Santos & Urrutia Associates were the engineers of record. The continuing investigation uncovered more misconduct. [Read more]

More News

Climate Change

City Attorney Dennis Herrera and Oakland City Attorney Barbara J. Parker filed separate lawsuits on behalf of their respective cities against the top five oil and gas companies, asking the courts to hold them responsible for the costs of the infrastructure necessary to protect their cities from the consequences of climate change caused by their massive production of fossil fuels.

Sanctuary Cities

On January 31, 2017 City Attorney Dennis Herrera filed a federal lawsuit against President Donald Trump and his administration for his executive order directing enforcement action against sanctuary cities and threatening to withhold federal funding from these cities. The suit claims that the order is unconstitutional and exceeds the president’s power.

Gun Safety

Five online suppliers that had been flouting both state and San Francisco law by selling illegal large-capacity magazines as “repair kits” to customers in California have agreed to a wide-ranging injunction that compels them to follow the law. The settlement agreement improves safety in California communities and ensures that rogue companies comply with the law.

Affordable Housing

In efforts to combat the affordable housing crisis in San Francisco, City Attorney Dennis Herrera has taken broad actions ranging from filing lawsuits against unscrupulous landowners like Academy of Art University to cracking down on affordable housing fraudsters.

Public Hearing Regarding City Attorney’s Office Budget for Fiscal Years 2020-2021 and 2021-2022

On February 7, 2020 at 9 a.m., the City Attorney’s Office will hold a public hearing at Room 234, City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place to receive public input regarding the City Attorney’s Office’s proposed budget for the next two upcoming fiscal years. All members of the public are welcome to attend the hearing. Any person who attends will have the opportunity to provide two minutes of oral public comments on the proposed budget. Any member of the public may also provide written comments to the City Attorney’s Office before, during, or after the hearing. Written materials related to the City Attorney’s Office’s proposed budget are available at this link and in Room 234, City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, during regular business hours.

After concluding the hearing, the City Attorney’s Office will finalize its proposed budget and submit it to the Controller’s Office. The Controller will review the proposed budget and transmit it to the Mayor. By June 1, the Mayor will send the Board of Supervisors a complete budget for City agencies, including the City Attorney’s Office. The Board of Supervisors will hold additional public hearings on the proposed City budget in June, with additional opportunities for public comment, before adopting a final budget by August 1.

Featured Highlights

Accepting Internship Applications

The San Francisco City Attorney’s Office’s Law School Internship Program is a unique and competitive educational offering that draws applicants from across the nation.  Participants are chosen based on their promise to emerge as leaders and difference-makers in government and public-interest law, and they work closely with mentors on a wide range of meaningful cases.  But you can’t be accepted if you don’t apply on-time.  Applications for the Spring 2020 program must be received by October 18th, 2019.

Map of San Francisco

Major Cases Map

Our new major cases map feature (still in beta) enables users to browse neighborhoods, navigate the city, and click on geo-tags for informational pop-ups about the City Attorney’s Office’s work there. Each pop-up  links to news releases to read more on the case. 

Deputy City Attorneys Jon Givner and Andrew Shen

Political activities

The City Attorney’s Office’s annual political activities memo offers a useful overview of basic rules that city officials and employees must follow if they choose to take part in activities for political campaigns.  There is also helpful guidance for commissions and departments.

City Hall exterior detail

Good Government

Check out the extensive resources that the City Attorney’s Office offers to help ensure adherence to good government practices by city officials and employees. Most of these are also helpful for residents, to further their understanding of local law and government. There is also helpful guidance for commissions and departments.

About the Office

Learn why the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office has been honored by the American Bar Association for “outstanding excellence,” and praised as “one of the most aggressive and talented city law departments in the nation” by American Lawyer magazine.