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Press Release – March 9, 2010 – Summary of Actions Taken at March 8, 2010 Meeting

John St. Croix
(415) 252-3100

For release: March 9, 2010


At its meeting on March 8, 2010, the San Francisco Ethics Commission took the following actions:

  • Re-elected, by separate 5-0 votes, Jamienne S. Studley as the Commission’s Chairperson and Susan J. Harriman as the Commission’s Vice-Chairperson for the coming year. 
  • Approved, by a vote of 5-0, a draft formal advice letter to state that the one-year post-employment ban under San Francisco Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code section 3.234 for a member of the Access Appeals Commission (“AAC”) applies to communications with the Department of Building Inspection (“DBI”), which includes the DBI, the Building Inspection Commission and the AAC. 
  • Granted, by a vote of 4-1, a waiver from the one-year post employment ban under San Francisco Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code section 3.234(a)(2) to Zachary Nathan, a member of the AAC.  The waiver allows Mr. Nathan, appointed to the AAC in December 2009, to communicate with the Department of Building Inspection as a licensed architect when he resigns from the AAC.
  • Granted, by a vote of 4-1, a waiver from the compensated advocacy ban under San Francisco Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code section 3.224 to William Scott Ellsworth, who serves on the AAC as a person “experienced in construction.”  The waiver allows Mr. Ellsworth, a licensed architect, to represent private parties before other City officers and employees while serving on the AAC. 
  • Approved, by a 5-0 vote, an amendment to San Francisco Campaign and Governmental Conduct (“C&GC”) Code section 3.216(b) to extend the ban on gifts from restricted sources to include loans, except for loans from commercial lending institutions made in the ordinary course of business.  (A restricted source is either (a) a person who has or is seeking a contract with the department of an officer or employee; or (b) a person who has knowingly attempted to influence the officer or employee in the last 12 months.)
  • Approved, by a 5-0 vote, an amendment to C&GC Code section 3.216(c) to clarify that the current ban on “gratuity in money or other valuable thing” applies to gifts from subordinates and to extend the ban to include loans.
  • Approved, by a 5-0 vote, amendments to C&GC Code section 3.216(d) to clarify that reporting of travel payments applies to payments made by an individual as well as an entity, and to delete language regarding gifts of travel used by elected officials that is no longer necessary due to changes in state law.
  • Selected the following seven committees active in the 2009 election for random audits:  Committee on JOBS Government Reform Fund; Building Owners and Managers Association of San Francisco Political Action Committee – Independent Expenditures aka BOMA-SF; Choice for Students; Plan C San Francisco PAC; San Franciscans Against Commercialization – No on C, No on D, Yes on E; Protect Our Rec Centers/Yes on C; and Cisneros for Treasurer 2009.

The Commission’s next scheduled meeting will be held on Monday, April 12, 2010, 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. 

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