Ethics Commission
City and County of San Francisco

Advice

The Ethics Commission provides two kinds of advice: written formal opinions and informal advice. S.F. Charter § C3.699-12. Written formal opinions are available to individuals who request advice about their responsibilities under local law. Formal opinions provide the requester immunity from subsequent enforcement action if the material facts are as stated in the request for advice, and if the District Attorney and City Attorney concur in the advice. See id. Informal advice does not provide similar protection. See id.

Past Advice Letters

Date of LetterPerson Requesting AdviceSubject Matter
June 9, 2009Jess MainardiFPPC Regulation 18405 – Electronic Filing Requirements
April 13, 2009 Patrick BuscovichApplication of compensated advocacy ban
  City Attorney’s Concurrence
  District Attorney’s Dissent
March 29, 2009Jesse MainardiFPPC Regulation 18405
March 23, 2009Enrique PearceCampaign Finance Reform Ordinance (liability for accrued expenses)
September 15, 2008Arnie LernerCompensated Advocacy Waivers
June 27, 2008Stuart SunshinePost Employment Restrictions
December 3, 2007Dean L. MacrisConflict of Interest Laws
November 30, 2007Ed HarringtonConflict of Interest Laws
March 12, 2007Beverly J. PriorContracts with the City (SF C&GC Code sec. 3222)
City Attorney’s Concurrence
District Attorney’s Response
October 24, 2006Kevin HeneghanMiscellaneous Concerns on C.F.R.O.
April 17, 2006Erich SeamonPost Employment Restrictions
December 22, 2005Peter BagatelosCampaign Finance Reform Ordinance (electioneering communications)
November 10, 2005Gregory E. SwansonCampaign Finance Reform Ordinance (application of 1.126 contribution ban to PAC of bank)
November 15, 2005Randall G. KnoxCompensated Advocacy Ban (C&GC 3.224)(application of ban to attorney engaged in practice of law)
October 11, 2005Vigo G. Nielsen,Jr.Campaign Finance Reform Ordinance (application of section 1.135 to state major donors)
January 13, 2005Anthony HallPost Employment Restrictions
City Attorney’s Concurrence
District Attorney’s Response
January 4, 2005James R. Sutton, Esq.Filing Obligations of Major Donors
December 20, 2004Ross MirkarimiSections 1.114 and 1.200 of S.F C&GC Code (inaugural activities)
November 30, 2004Jim LazarusCampaign Finance Reform Ordinance (contributions from member of-non-profit)
August 5, 2004Gregory AsayPost Employment Restrictions S.F. C&GC Code § 3.234
City Attorney’s Concurrence
District Attorney’s Response
August 15, 2003Rob BlackLobbyist Ordinance
August 12, 2003James R. Sutton, Esq.Lobbyist Ordinance
April 7, 2003James R. Sutton, Esq.Proposition J (application to non-profit organizations)
December 11, 2002Anita D. Stearns MayoCampaign Finance Reform Ordinance (transferred contributions)
August 15, 2002Peter A. BagatelosCampaign Finance Reform Ordinance
April 25, 2002H. William BrownS.F. Charter Section C8.105(e) Post Employment Restrictions
  City Attorney’s Concurrence
  District Attorney’s Response
March 5, 2002Jared BlumenfeldTaxpayer Protection Amendment of 2000
  City Attorney’s Concurrence
  District Attorney’s Non-Concurrence
February 19, 2002Ron DudumCampaign Finance Reform Ordinance
February 19, 2002James R. Sutton, Esq.Campaign Finance Reform Ordinance
November 5, 2001James R. Sutton, Esq.Campaign Consultant Ordinance
September 24, 2001James R. Sutton, Esq.Campaign Consultant Ordinance
September 20, 2001Vernon M. BillyLobbyists Ordinance
September 20, 2001H. William BrownSF Charter Section C8.105(e), Post Employment Restrictions
July 23, 2001H. William BrownSF Charter Section C8.105(e), Post Employment Restrictions
July 20, 2001Tim KelleyContracts with the City
May 15, 2001William W. Fay, D.D.S.Compensated Advocacy Ordinance
May 9, 2001Christopher L. BowmanCampaign Consultant Ordinance
February 21, 2001Merrill J. Schwartz, Esq.SF Charter § C8.105(e) Post Employment Restrictions
June 22, 2000Esther MarksCampaign Finance Reform Ordinance
  City Attorney’s Concurrence
  District Attorney’s Dissent
March 22, 2000James R. Sutton, Esq.Campaign Finance Reform Ordinance
March 15, 2000Roger SandersCampaign Finance Reform Ordinance
March 10, 2000Supervisor Tom AmmianoCampaign Finance Reform Ordinance
August 16, 1999James R. Sutton, Esq.Campaign Consultant Ordinance

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