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San Francisco Ethics Commission Audit Report: Gerardo C. Sandoval for Supervisor, FPPC ID #990913




I.       Introduction

This Audit Report contains information pertaining to the audit of the committee, Gerardo C. Sandoval for Supervisor, Identification Number 990913 (“the Committee”), for the period from January 1, 1999 through December 31, 2000.  The audit was conducted to determine whether the Committee materially complied with the requirements and prohibitions imposed by the Political Reform Act (“the Act”) (California Government Code Section 81000, et seq.) and San Francisco’s Campaign Finance Reform Ordinance (“CFRO”) and Electronic Filing Ordinance (S.F. Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code Sections 1.100, et seq., and 1.300, et seq., formerly S.F. Administrative Code Sections 16.501, et seq., and 16.535, et seq.).[1]

For the period covered by the audit, the Committee received total contributions of $80,048 and incurred expenditures of $78,117.   There was one material finding with respect to this Audit: the Committee failed to file one Late Contribution Report, in violation of Government Code Section 84203.  (Please note that the Committee filed this report after the auditor brought the non-filing to its attention.)

II.         Committee Information

The Committee was formed to support the election of Gerardo C. Sandoval for Member, Board of Supervisors, District 11, in the November 7, 2000 general election.  The Committee filed its Statement of Organization on July 26, 1999, indicating that it had qualified as a committee on July 22, 1999.  After the November 7, 2000 election, the Committee continued to exist to support Supervisor Sandoval’s candidacy in the December 12, 2000 run-off election.  The final campaign statement that was filed by the Committee covered the reporting period ending June 30, 2001.  The Committee’s treasurer was Bruce Cuthbertson.

III.       Audit Authority

San Francisco Charter Section C3.699-11(4) mandates that the Commission audit campaign statements and other relevant documents to determine whether campaign committees comply with applicable requirements and prohibitions imposed by State and local law.

IV.        Audit Scope and Procedures

This audit was performed in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards.  The audit involved a thorough review of the Committee’s records for the time period covered by the audit.  This review was conducted to determine:

  • Compliance with all disclosure requirements pertaining to contributions, expenditures, accrued expenditures, and loans, including itemization when required;
  • Compliance with applicable filing deadlines;
  • Compliance with restrictions on contributions, loans and expenditures;
  • Accuracy of total reported receipts, disbursements and cash balances as compared to bank records; and
  • Compliance with all record-keeping requirements.

V.     Summary of Applicable Law

Government Code Section 84203: Filing of Late Contribution Reports (Form 497)

“Late contribution” means any contribution, including a loan, which totals in the aggregate $1,000 or more that is made or received by a candidate, a controlled committee, or a committee formed or existing primarily to support or oppose a candidate or measure before the date of the election at which the candidate or measure is to be voted on but after the closing date of the last campaign statement required to be filed before the election. (Government Code Section 82036).  The combined activities of affiliated entities shall be used to determine whether the $1,000 threshold is met or exceeded. (California Code of Regulations, Title 2, Section 18428).

Late contributions must be reported within 24 hours of receipt by facsimile transmission, telegram, guaranteed overnight mail through the United States Postal Service or personal delivery. (Government Code Section 84203(b)).  A candidate or committee that receives a late contribution must include on the Late Contribution Report: 1) its full name and street address; 2) the date and amount of the late contribution; and 3) the contributor’s name, street address, occupation, and employer, or if self-employed, the name of the business.  Late Contribution Reports must be filed with each office with which the candidate or committee is regularly required to file campaign statements. (Government Code Section 84203(a)).

VI.     Material Findings

Government Code Section 84203: Failure to Report Late Contributions for the Run-Off Election.

During the late reporting period for the December 12, 2000 run-off election, the Committee received five contributions on December 11, 2000 from affiliated entities aggregating to $1,250, thus prompting the filing of a Late Contribution Report, which the Committee failed to file.  Please see Attachment 1 for a listing of the five late contributions.  After the auditor informed the Committee of the missing Late Contribution Report, Mr. Cuthbertson filed the Report with the Ethics Commission.

In response to the above-referenced finding, Mr. Cuthbertson stated that the Committee properly filed late contribution reports for the general election, but that it was unclear about the Ethics Commission’s instructions regarding the run-off election.   (Please note that the Committee filed two Late Contribution Reports for eleven contributions totaling $5,250, pertaining to the November 7, 2000 general election.)  Mr. Cuthbertson explained that prior to the run-off election, the Committee contacted the Ethics Commission staff concerning various filing obligations required by local and state laws.  He noted that the Committee filed its regular campaign statements, one of which covered the reporting period 11/26/00-12/31/00 and included disclosure of the five late contributions that were received on December 11, 2000.  Mr. Cuthbertson reported that the Committee believed that it did not have any filing obligation for the run-off late reporting period.  He stated that the Committee made its best effort to comply with the laws and that its failure to file one Late Contribution Report was unintentional.  He believes that the Ethics Commission could have provided more direction to candidates involved in the run-off election.  (Please note that Mr. Cuthbertson was a first-time treasurer and the candidate, Supervisor Sandoval, was a first-time candidate.)

VII.      Conclusion

Through the examination of the Committee’s records and campaign disclosure statements, the Auditor found one material finding: the Committee failed to file one Late Contribution Report, in violation of Government Code Section 84203.

Audit reports are posted to the Commission’s web site and are forwarded to the Members of the Ethics Commission and, in cases of a violation of law, to the appropriate enforcement agency.

 Date:  April 28, 2003

Attachment 1

List of the late contributions that the Committee received on December 11, 2000 for which a Late Contribution Report was not filed for the December 12, 2000 run-off election:

Contributor Amount
 Clinton Reilly  $ 250 
 and his four business entities:  
 Sutter Business Center   $ 250
 Little Fox Theatre Investments   $ 250
 Clinton Reilly Holdings LLC  $ 250
 Merchants Exchange Building LLC  $ 250
 Aggregated Total  $ 1,250

[1] During part of the period covered by the audit, the sections of law were codified in the Administrative Code at Sections 16.501, et seq., and 16.535, et seq.  However, the sections have since been recodified in the Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code at Sections 1.100, et seq., and 1.300, et seq.

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