THE FORMER PRESIDENT of San Francisco’s Building Inspection Commission was sentenced Friday to 30 months in prison after pleading guilty earlier this year to multiple counts of bank fraud, honest services fraud and evading taxes on more than $1.6 million in unreported income.

Rodrigo Santos, 65, received the sentence from U.S. District Judge Susan Illston after pleading guilty as part of a City Hall corruption probe.

Santos was appointed to the commission that oversees the city’s Department of Building Inspection (DBI) by Mayor Willie Brown in 2000 and was named president of the commission in 2004 by then-Mayor and current Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Federal prosecutors had sought a 51-month prison term for Santos, saying in a briefing ahead of Friday’s sentencing that he oversaw “a tax-free stream of criminal fraud proceeds to the tune of more than $1,600,000.”

The briefing described Santos as the co-founder of an engineering firm who “marketed himself as a ‘permit expediter’ who could help his clients to navigate the complex process of obtaining building permits from DBI, the regulatory agency responsible for overseeing the enforcement of building codes for commercial and residential buildings in San Francisco.”

Santos’ defense attorney Randall Knox acknowledged Santos diverted more than 400 checks from clients that were primarily intended for DBI, but pointed to his long history of public service, including his time on the Building Inspection Commission and on the San Francisco City College Board of Trustees, as part of his argument for the sentence to be a year and a day in prison.

The judge settled on the 30-month sentence, which prompted a statement from City Attorney David Chiu.

“Today, the court brought justice to the many people and businesses Rodrigo Santos harmed,” Chiu said. “He defrauded his clients, bribed government officials, and lied on permit applications. The unauthorized excavations Santos performed created safety hazards, putting his clients and their neighbors at risk.”

Dan McMenamin is the managing editor at Bay City News, directing daily news coverage of the 12-county greater Bay Area. He has worked for BCN since 2008 and has been managing editor since 2014 after previously serving as BCN’s San Francisco bureau reporter. A UC Davis graduate, he came to BCN after working for a newspaper and nonprofit in the Davis area. He handles staffing, including coaching of our interns, day-to-day coverage decisions and management of the newswire.