Ethics Commission
City and County of San Francisco

Press Release – May 12, 2009 – SUMMARY OF ACTIONS TAKEN AT MAY 11, 2009 MEETING

PRESS RELEASE

Contact:                                                                                 For release:
John St. Croix                                                                       May 12, 2009
(415) 252-3100

SUMMARY OF ACTIONS TAKEN AT MAY 11, 2009 MEETING

At its meeting on May 11, 2009, the San Francisco Ethics Commission took the following actions:

  • Considered a draft report on the public financing program for Supervisorial candidates during the November 2008 election.  The report, which will be issued to the Mayor and the Board of Supervisors, is required by section 1.156 of the San Francisco Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code ("C&GC Code"). 
  • Adopted the following staff proposals to amend the Lobbyist Ordinance (“the Ordinance”), C&GC Code section 2.100 et seq.:
  1. Approved, by a vote of 5-0, an amendment that any person who negligently or knowingly violates the Ordinance shall be liable in an administrative proceeding before the Ethics Commission pursuant to Charter section C3.699.13;
  2. Approved, by a vote of 5-0, an amendment to increase the maximum civil penalties for violation of the Ordinance from $1,000 to $5,000 per violation;
  3. Approved, by a vote of 5-0, an amendment to provide for joint and several liability for businesses, firms or organizations that register or file reports on behalf of its lobbyist employees;   
  4. Approved, by a vote of 5-0, an amendment to provide a four-year period for the collection of monetary penalties or fines that are imposed under the Ordinance;
  5. Approved, by a vote of 5-0, an amendment to include language in proposed section 2.105(d)(2) to provide that an individual providing oral information under section 2.105(d)(2)(A), requesting the status of an action under section 2.105(d)(2)(B), or participating in a public interested persons meeting under section 2.105(d)(2)(C) is not making a contact for the purpose of qualifying as a lobbyist, but would be making a contact for the purpose of disclosure if the individual is already a lobbyist;
  6. Approved, by a vote of 5-0, an amendment to require the disclosure of information regarding experts who accompany lobbyists to meetings with City officers;
  7. Approved, by a vote of 4-1, an amendment to remove the requirement that lobbyists must notify the recipient of a gift that he or she has, in fact, received a gift;
  8. Approved, by a vote of 5-0, an amendment stating that the amendments to the Ordinance shall be effective on January 1, 2010, unless the Ethics Commission approves a resolution establishing a later effective date for the Ordinance;
  9. Approved, by a vote of 5-0, a resolution to send the amendments to the Board of Supervisors with a request that the Board of Supervisors consider and approve the amendments as soon as possible; and
  10. Approved, by a vote of 5-0, eighteen technical amendments to the Ordinance listed in the staff's May 5, 2009 memorandum regarding the proposed changes.

Note:  The amendments will not become effective until the Commission completes its discussion of the remaining proposed changes, and the Board of Supervisors has considered and enacted them, subject to the Mayor's veto authority.  The Commission will continue its consideration of the remaining proposed amendments to the Ordinance at its June 8, 2009 meeting. 

  • Considered amendments to the Commission’s Regulations for Investigations and Enforcement Proceedings.  The Commission will continue its discussion of these amendments at a future meeting.

The Commission’s next meeting will be held on Monday, June 8, 2009, at 5:30 p.m. in Room 408 City Hall. 

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The Ethics Commission, established in November 1993, serves the public, City employees and officials and candidates for public office through education and enforcement of ethics laws.  Its duties include:  filing and auditing of campaign finance disclosure statements, lobbyist and campaign consultant registration and regulation, administration of the public financing program, whistleblower program, conflict of interest reporting, investigations and enforcement, education and training, advice giving and statistical reporting.  

S:\Commission\Meeting Summaries\2009\5.11.09.doc

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