Ethics Commission
City and County of San Francisco


San Francisco Ethics Commission. Public Service that builds public trust. Join our team.
Investigator (Job class 1822)
Location:  San Francisco
This is a Permanent Exempt (PEX) position.
Salary Range: $84,162 – $102,310/year

About the Commission

The San Francisco Ethics Commission was created directly by the City’s voters with the passage of Proposition K in November 1993. Through its 24-member staff, the Commission is responsible for the independent and impartial administration and enforcement of laws related to campaign finance, public financing of candidates, governmental ethics, conflicts of interests, and registration and reporting by lobbyists, campaign consultants, permit consultants, and major developers. The Commission has an operating budget of roughly $4.8 million also administers a $7 million Election Campaign Fund that provides partial public financing for qualified candidates for City elective office.

Our mission is to practice and promote the highest standards of integrity in government. We achieve that by delivering impactful programs that promote fair, transparent, and accountable governmental decision making for the benefit of all San Franciscans. With public service a public trust, our aim is to ensure that San Franciscans can have confidence that the operations of the City and County and the decisions made by its officials and employees are fair, just, and made without any regard to private or personal gain.

The Ethics Commission is committed to recruiting, hiring, and retaining and a diverse, collaborative, and high performing staff of individuals whose individual experiences, knowledge, and talents collectively drive achievement of the Commission’s unique mission in San Francisco city government. We honor and value diversity, inclusion, and engagement, and are committed to promoting racial equity and to creating and sustaining a work environment that reflects and engages the diversity of our communities. Applicants who contribute to this diversity are strongly encouraged to apply. The Commission provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, gender, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, disability,  genetics, or any other protected category.

About the Team

To fulfill the Ethics Commission’s oversight mandate as an independent administrative enforcement agency, the Enforcement Division is charged with ensuring fair, thorough, and timely investigations and case outcomes that serve as an effective deterrent and promote accountability in government. The Division has responsibility to identify, investigate, and remedy unlawful conduct within the scope of the Commission’s jurisdiction. The Division’s four investigators are responsible for investigating alleged violations of the law to ensure allegations are fully and objectively evaluated and that those who violate the law are held publicly accountable for their actions, which can include imposition of monetary penalties levied by the five-member Ethics Commission as provided for under the law.

In an era that has challenged the public’s faith in government, the oversight and accountability work of the Enforcement Division plays a vital role in supporting the Ethics Commission’s core mission to help build trust in governmental institutions.

About the Role

The Commission is seeking an Investigator with solid analytical and investigative skills, exceptional judgment, and a demonstrated commitment to accountable government to perform complex, sensitive, and detailed investigative analyses and professional-level investigations. As a member of the Enforcement team, the Investigator also will play a central role in implementing critical streamlining and business process improvement measures addressed in findings and recommendations of the August 2020 Budget and Legislative Analyst Performance Audit of the Ethics Commission, including to reduce timeframes for resolving investigative matters while also ensuring the fairness, quality, and thoroughness of the Commission’s investigations.

This position reports to the Ethics Commission’s Director of Enforcement. As with all positions at the Ethics Commission, the Investigator must be willing to forego involvement in all local political activity while a member of the Commission staff.

Important and Essential Duties

Essential duties of the position include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Evaluate complaints, evidence, and law, including to identify matters that may be subject to treatment under criteria established for streamlined administrative resolution program.
  • Perform complex, sensitive, and detailed research and analyses of issues and policies pertaining to alleged violations of government ethics, conflicts of interests, campaign finance, lobbying, retaliation, and public disclosure laws.
  • Conduct investigations of alleged violations of government ethics, conflicts of interests, campaign finance, lobbying, retaliation, and public disclosure laws.
  • Gather and evaluate a wide range of information and source documents to elicit factual information and evaluate compliance with laws within the Commission’s jurisdiction, including through investigative research and interviews.
  • Analyze data and information to identify facts and develop empirically-based conclusions, including about any patterns of non-compliance.
  • Develop investigative findings and recommendations based on analysis conducted.
  • Prepare and present verbal and written reports of investigative findings and recommendations.
  • Develop, negotiate, and present written stipulated settlements for Commission adoption.
  • Develop, implement, and maintain protocols and tools to track investigative workload, timelines and objectives, including key program indicators to monitor, evaluate, and report on progress toward program goals.
  • Assist in other program-management related duties as assigned, including in preparation of Division reports and resource planning.
  • Collaborate cross-functionally with other staff teams as appropriate in the development, implementation, and evaluation of legislation, regulations, and administrative processes to support effectiveness and enforceability of laws in practice.
  • As assigned, participate in Commission meetings and engage with other City departments as needed in support of enforcement-related programs and operations.
  • Under general direction, may supervise or serve as lead worker to clerical, technical staff and/or subordinate professional staff, depending on assignment.
  • Abstain from local political activities, disclose personal economic interests, and comply with outside employment restrictions.

Highly Desirable Qualifications

During the selection process the following desirable qualifications may be used to identify applicants selected to become a job finalist.

  • A Master’s degree in public administration, business administration, public policy, or a related field of study.
  • Prior professional-level investigative experience planning and performing complex research and analyses and developing well-supported findings and recommendations.
  • Prior professional experience working on matters involving governmental ethics, campaign finance, lobbying issues or in related areas of government oversight.
  • Prior professional experience working in an oversight, regulatory, administrative, or law enforcement agency.
  • Demonstrated ability to plan and complete projects of high quality and on time, including effective use of organizational systems to regularly track and report on progress toward established goals and objectives.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

Essential knowledge, skills, and abilities of the position include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Knowledge of methods and principles used in investigative/legal research and analysis.
  • Experience planning and performing investigative research and analysis.
  • Experience gathering a wide array of source data on complex issues to identify relevant facts and evaluate compliance with applicable laws and policies, including by eliciting factual information through investigative interviews.
  • Ability to objectively evaluate testimonial and documentary evidence, and to independently apply a broad knowledge base, strong reasoning skills, and sound judgment.
  • Ability to read, understand, and accurately apply provisions of complex laws to facts and discern instances or patterns of non-compliance.
  • Orientation to detail and ability to synthesize analyses and to develop findings and recommendations that are supported by strong research.
  • Ability to structure and write investigative reports and other documents with appropriate supporting analyses that present clear and concise findings and recommendations.
  • Ability to prepare and make clear and concise presentations.
  • Strong computer and data analysis skills, including proficiency with Microsoft Office suite (in particular Excel), are required. Familiarity with PowerBI, Tableau, or other statistical/analytics tools is a plus.
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills.
  • Ability to plan, prioritize, exercise initiative, and complete multiple competing projects within established timeframes while also ensuring accurate, high-quality work products.
  • Ability to develop and maintain organizational systems to ensure effective tracking and reporting toward program goals and objectives.
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills and ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships that foster engagement and creative problem-solving as a member of a diverse staff team.
  • Ability to work comfortably within an open government environment while also maintaining confidentiality of sensitive and confidential information.
  • Ability to work objectively in a politically sensitive environment and a willingness to forego all local political activity.
  • Ability to exhibit professionalism and respect in politically sensitive and highly visible contexts.
  • Ability to exercise tact, sound independent judgment, and the highest standards of integrity in carrying out duties.

Minimum Qualifications

These minimum qualifications establish the education, training, experience, special skills and/or license(s) which the City and County of San Francisco requires for employment in the classification.

  1. Possession of a graduate degree (Master’s degree or higher) from an accredited college or university; and one (1) year full-time equivalent experience performing professional-level analytical work, as described in Note A; OR
  2. Possession of a graduate degree (Master’s degree or higher) from an accredited college or university with major coursework as described in Note B; OR
  3. Possession of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university, and two (2) years full-time equivalent experience performing professional-level analytical work as described in Note A; OR
  4. Possession of a baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university with major coursework as described in Note B and one (1) year full-time equivalent experience performing professional-level analytical work as described in Note A;

SUBSTITUTION: Applicants may substitute up to 2 years of the required education with additional qualifying experience in budget analysis, financial analysis and reporting, legislative/policy analysis, or contract/grant administration. One year (2000 hours) of additional qualifying experience will be considered equivalent to 30 semester units/45 quarter units.

Notes on Qualifying Experience and Education:

  1. Qualifying professional-level analytical experience must be in one or more of the following functional areas: complex budget analysis, development and administration; complex financial/fiscal analysis and reporting; development of complex contracting systems and administration of competitive bid processes and complex contractual agreements; development and evaluation of complex management/administrative policy; complex grant administration and monitoring; complex program evaluation and planning; complex legislative analysis; complex economic analysis; or other functional areas related to the duties of positions in Class 1822, where the primary focus of the job is complex professional-level analysis for evaluation, recommendation, development and implementation of major programs and functions of department/organization. Analytical experience equivalent to the duties of Class 1820 is considered qualifying.
  2. Coursework applicable to a baccalaureate or higher degree in specialized subject matter areas such as public or business administration, management, business law, contract law, public policy, urban studies, economics, statistical analysis, finance, accounting or other fields of study closely related to the essential functions of positions in Class 1822.

How To Apply

To apply for this position, please submit the following documents using the Apply Now link at the bottom of this document:

  • Statement of Interest that details your interest in the Investigator position and describes your relevant investigative skills and experiences, including any related to accountable government or public integrity.
  • Current Resume

Applications that do not contain the requested information will not be considered.

Complete applications will be reviewed as they are received and applicants selected to advance to the interview process will be contacted by phone or email.

** Please note that due to ongoing COVID19 public health restrictions all candidate interviews will take place online using remote technology. In addition, subject to further official notice from the City and County of San Francisco, the successful candidate should expect to perform their duties working fully remotely at least through June 30, 2021, however any City employee may be called in for Disaster Service Work duty or to work on site subject to the City’s and Department’s established Health and Safety protocols. In such instances, employees may be required be on site with 24-hours’ notice.

Apply Now

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