SAN FRANCISCO — Two Department of Public Health employees have been accused of directing a $1.2 million contract toward family members.
The suit states that Heather Zalatimo, formerly a technology systems engineer with the department, directed the department contract to Fidelis Cybersecurity, where her husband was employed.
Jeff Jorgenson, who was the information technology chief operating officer with the department, has been accused of permitting the contract to be diverted to Zalatimo's company even though he knew of the connection.
City Attorney Dennis Herrera said the alleged actions could constitute fraud.
"There is no room for someone to use their public position for personal gain. Everyone in government has a duty to the taxpayers they serve. My office takes that obligation very seriously," Herrera said.
Herrera has decried Zalatimo's alleged actions, claiming that this type of alleged behavior will not be tolerated and equating it to the theft of taxpayer dollars.
"Government service is a public trust,” Herrera told the Northern California Record. “The vast majority of people who work on behalf of San Franciscans are honest, hard-working and dedicated to the community."
The lawsuit claims violations of state as well as local conflict of interest violations for government employees, violation of the Political Reform Act and of state laws outlining public protections against unfair, illegal and fraudulent business practices.
Additionally, the lawsuit demands that Fidelis returns the entire contract amount to the city, and for civil penalties to be lodged against Zalatimo.