John St. Croix
For release: October 20, 2009
SUMMARY OF ACTIONS TAKEN AT OCTOBER 19, 2009 MEETING
At its meeting on October 19, 2009, the San Francisco Ethics Commission took the following actions:
- Discussed legislation introduced by Supervisor Mar to amend Chapter 2 of Article III of the Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code to ban members of City boards and commissions from obtaining employment with the City during their tenure and for one year after the termination of their City service. A staff aide to Supervisor Mar, who spoke at the meeting, stated that she would relay the Commission’s comments to the supervisor so that the legislation could be narrowed to achieve its purposes.
- Approved, by a series of 5-0 and 4-1 votes, amendments to the Commission’s Regulations for Investigations and Enforcement Proceedings (“Regulations”), which the Commission had begun to discuss at its May 2009 meeting. The approved regulations include amending the definition of “deliver” and removal of the term “service” in the regulations; changing the deadlines for delivery of the probable cause reports and responses; providing that probable cause hearings regarding referrals from the Sunshine Ordinance Task Force will be held in public and that staff notes regarding such matters will be disclosable after resolution of the complaint by the Commission; eliminating live witness testimony at probable cause hearings; establishing consistent standards of proof at probable cause hearings and hearings on the merit; deleting reference to an outside hearing officer at probable cause hearings; allowing amendments to probable cause determinations; designating the accusation as the official charging document and requiring that it be issued within ten days of the probable cause determination; making changes to procedures regarding the resolution of preliminary and procedural matters in the hearing on the merits; allowing the Executive Director to dismiss specific charges prior to a hearing on the merits; allowing either party to request the exclusion of witnesses from the hearing on the merits; clarifying the application of the Charter’s confidentiality rules for Ethics Commission’s investigations; and changing the statute of limitations for delivering a probable cause report on alleged violations from five to four years.
- Approved the Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2008-2009, subject to grammatical and technical corrections to be made by the Chairperson and the Executive Director.
- Began its discussion of policy priorities for the coming year.
The Commission’s next scheduled meeting will be held on Monday, November 9, 2009, at 5:30 p.m. in Room 408 City Hall.
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.