John St. Croix
For release: August 19, 2011
Statement from the Chair and Vice-chair Regarding “Progress for All” Decision
Chairman Benedict Y. Hur and Vice-chairperson Jamienne S. Studley jointly released this statement today:
“Recently, the press has reported several misconceptions about the San Francisco Ethics Commission’s August 8 decision regarding Progress for All, the entity that encouraged Ed Lee to run for mayor.
The Commission did not decide whether or not Mayor Lee or Progress for All engaged in any improper conduct. Such a merits hearing could only occur after the Commission staff received or instituted a complaint, conducted an investigation and a probable cause hearing and if the Commission then found probable cause of an ethics violation. While time consuming, these procedures ensure due process for all.
What the Commission decided on August 8 was that Mayor Lee was not a “candidate” as defined by the Political Reform Act simply by virtue of being the sitting mayor. The decision came after lengthy discussion and public comment. While we disagreed with the Staff’s recommendation on this issue, we have full confidence in them and the work they are doing on behalf of the public.
The Commission takes seriously its role as the impartial arbiter of San Francisco’s ethics laws. Serving the public requires that we afford due process and make decisions based on laws and facts, not on political pressure.”
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.