Ethics Commission
City and County of San Francisco

Press Release – April 24, 2012 – Summary of Actions Taken at April 23, 2012 Meeting

Contact:
John St. Croix
(415) 252-3100

For release: April 24, 2012

SUMMARY OF ACTIONS TAKEN AT APRIL 23, 2012 MEETING

At its special meeting on April 23, 2012 regarding procedural issues on the charges of official misconduct pending against Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, the San Francisco Ethics Commission took the following actions:

  • After receiving comments from attorneys representing the Mayor and the Sheriff, plus comments from members of the public, approved the following issues for briefing from the parties:
    • What is the applicable standard of proof?
    • On what type of evidence may the Commission rely?
    • Can the Sheriff engage in official misconduct subjecting him to removal from office prior to the time that he held that office?
    • Does “official misconduct” under the Charter require that the alleged misconduct relate to the Sheriff’s duties?
      • If so, does the conduct alleged relate to Mr. Mirkarimi’s duties as Sheriff?
    • Is the Sheriff’s guilty plea to the misdemeanor charge of false imprisonment sufficient to sustain a finding of official misconduct?
    • Must the Ethics Commission act unanimously relating to this matter?
    • Even if all the charges alleged against the Sheriff are true, should the Commission dismiss the matter because the charges do not constitute official misconduct?
  • The Commission approved the following briefing schedule:
Due Date Item
April 30, 2012 Mayor to provide:  memo on legal issues identified above and response to the Sheriff’s letter brief of April 23, 2012; list of fact witnesses to be relied upon by the Mayor along with summary of testimony expected from each witness and whether Mayor seeks to have witness testify live or via declaration Mayor should also address in the memo or in a separate letter brief the following issue raised by the Sheriff:  Is the Sheriff required by law to comply with the Mayor or City Attorney’s investigation into the matter, and what role, if any, does the Ethics Commission have relating to that investigation?
May 7, 2012 Mayor to disclose expert or subject matter witnesses to be relied upon by the Mayor along with summary of testimony expected from each witness and whether Mayor seeks to have witness testify live or via declaration Sheriff to provide:  memo on legal issues identified above and any bases for a demurrer or motion to dismiss
May 10, 2012 Sheriff to provide:  list of fact witnesses to be relied upon by the Sheriff along with summary of testimony expected from each witness and whether the Sheriff seeks to have witness testify live or via declaration
May 17, 2012 Sheriff to provide:  list of expert or subject matter witnesses to be relied upon by the Sheriff along with summary of testimony expected from each witness and whether the Sheriff seeks to have witness testify live or via declaration. Mayor to provide:  reply to the Sheriff’s memo on legal issues
May 25, 2012 Both parties to provide stipulated facts and identify rebuttal witnesses along with summary of testimony expected from each rebuttal witness and whether the Mayor or Sheriff seeks to have witness testify live or via declaration
May 29, 2012 Ethics Commission meeting where the Commission will determine if further legal arguments or testimony is required and if so, when and in what form.  Both parties should be prepared to discuss factual stipulations and the availability of witnesses as well as objections to witnesses

The Commission also took the following action:

  • Agreed that the length of the opening and opposition briefs will be limited 35 pages, double-spaced, 12 point font; the reply brief will be limited to 10 pages.
  • Agreed that service will be by email only, to the parties, Scott Emblidge, John St. Croix, and Mabel Ng.
  • By a vote of 5-0, delegated authority to the Chair to modify the schedule as needed.

The Commission’s next scheduled meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 29, 2012, at 5:30 p.m. in Room 400 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\2012\4.23.12.doc

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