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Agenda – January 28, 2013


January 28, 2013 5:30 P.M.
Room 400 City Hall
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, San Francisco

  1. Call to order and roll call.
  2. Public comment on matters appearing or not appearing on the agenda that are within the jurisdiction of the Ethics Commission.
  3. Discussion and possible action on draft amendments to the Commission's Regulations for Investigations and Enforcement Proceedings ("Enforcement Regulations"). At its November 26, 2012 meeting, the Commission approved a set of regulations to govern its handling of complaints related to alleged violations of the Sunshine Ordinance and referrals from the SOTF ("Sunshine Regulations"). To provide consistency, the Commission will consider amending its Enforcement Regulations to delete references to violations of the Sunshine Ordinance and to make other conforming changes. (Attachments: January 18, 2013 staff memorandum; draft amendments to Enforcement Regulations; Sunshine Regulations.)
  4. Discussion and possible action on a report submitted by Lisa Herrick, formerly of the San Jose City Attorney's Office. At its October 22, 2012 meeting regarding Ethics Complaint Nos. 08110816 and 09110816, the Commission asked Ms. Herrick to review email communications between the Ethics Commission and the Controller's Office to determine whether any of those communications were subject to disclosure. While Ms. Herrick did not identify any such communications between the Commission and the Controller, she did identify emails reflecting internal communications between Commission staff that she believes may be disclosed. At this meeting, the Commission will determine (1) whether such emails must be disclosed; and (2) if the answer is yes, whether the failure to release them was a willful violation of the Sunshine Ordinance. (Attachments: January 23, 2013 staff memorandum; Ms. Herrick's October 24, 2012 memo without enclosure.)
  5. Discussion and possible action on Ethics Commission budget. By February 21, 2013, all departments must submit their budget requests to the Controller's Office. The Mayor's Budget Office has projected a $129.1 million General Fund shortfall for FY 2013-14 and a $263.2 million shortfall for FY 2014-15, based on current operations and staffing levels and estimated revenues. Departments have been instructed to submit a budget including ongoing savings equal to 1.5 percent of base General Fund support for FY 2013-14 and an additional 1.5 percent of base General Fund support for FY 2014-15. At this meeting, the Commission will review staff's recommendations and possibly provide guidance in preparing the budget submission for FY 2013-14 and FY 2014-15. (Attachment: January 23, 2013 staff memorandum.)
  6. Discussion and possible action regarding a complaint received or initiated by the Ethics Commission. Possible Closed Session.
    1. Public comment on all matters pertaining to Agenda Item VI, including whether to meet in closed session.
    2. Vote on whether to assert attorney-client privilege and meet in closed session under Charter section C3.699-13, Brown Act section 54956.9(c) and Sunshine Ordinance section 67.10(d) to discuss anticipated litigation as plaintiff. (Action.)
    3. Conference with Legal Counsel: Anticipated litigation as plaintiff. (Discussion and possible action.)
      Number of possible cases: 1
    4. Discussion and vote pursuant to Brown Act section 54957.1 and Sunshine Ordinance section 67.12 on whether to disclose any action taken or discussions held in closed session regarding anticipated litigation as plaintiff. (Discussion and possible action.)
      Motion: The Charter provides that deliberations regarding complaints are confidential. Pursuant to section C3.699-13, the Ethics Commission moves (not) to disclose its closed session deliberations re: anticipated litigation.
  7. Discussion and possible action on minutes of the Commission's regular meeting of November 26, 2012. (Attachment: November 26, 2012 draft minutes.)
  8. Discussion of Executive Director's Report. An update of important Ethics Commission staff activities since the previous monthly meeting. The written report, which is available at the Commission office and on its website, covers the investigation and enforcement program, revenues, campaign finance disclosure program, revenues, public financing/campaign finance audit program, lobbyist program, campaign consultant program, and outreach and education. Any of these subjects may potentially be part of the Director's presentation or discussed by the Commission. (Attachment: Executive Director's Report.)
  9. Items for future meetings. Commissioners may propose items for future agendas and the Commission may determine the priority of these items. (Discussion.)
  10. Public comment on matters appearing or not appearing on the agenda that are within the jurisdiction of the Ethics Commission.
  11. Adjournment.

There will be an opportunity for public comment on each agenda item.

Materials contained in the Commission packets for meetings are available for inspection and copying during regular office hours at the Ethics Commission, 25 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 220, at least 72 hours prior to meetings. Any materials distributed to members of the Ethics Commission within 72 hours of the meeting or after the agenda packet has been delivered to the members are available for public inspection at the Ethics Commission, 25 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 220, San Francisco, during normal office hours.

Cell phones, pagers and similar sound-producing electronic devices: The ringing of and use of cell phones, pagers and similar sound-producing electronic devices are prohibited at this meeting. The Chair may order the removal from the meeting room of any person responsible for the ringing or use of a cell phone, pager, or other similar sound-producing electronic devices.

Disability Access: The Ethics Commission meeting will be held in Room 400, City Hall, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, San Francisco, CA. The Commission meeting room is wheelchair accessible. The closest accessible BART station is the Civic Center Station at United Nations Plaza and Market Street. Accessible MUNI lines serving this location are: #42 Downtown Loop, and #71 Haight/Noriega and the F Line to Market and Van Ness and the Metro Stations at Van Ness and Market and at Civic Center. For information about MUNI accessible services call (415) 923-6142. There is accessible curbside parking adjacent to City Hall on Grove Street and Van Ness Avenue and in the vicinity of the Veterans Building at 401 Van Ness Avenue adjacent to Davies Hall and the War Memorial Complex.

To obtain a disability-related modification or accommodation, including auxiliary aids or services, to participate in a meeting, please contact the Ethics Commission at least 48 hours before the meeting, except for Monday meetings, for which the deadline is 4:00 p.m. the previous Friday. Late requests will be honored, if possible. Services available on request include the following: American sign language interpreters or the use of a reader during a meeting, a sound enhancement system, and/or alternative formats of the agenda and minutes. Please contact the Ethics Commission (415) 252-3100 to make arrangements for a disability-related modification or accommodation.

Chemical-Based Products: In order to assist the City's efforts to accommodate persons with severe allergies, environmental illnesses, multiple chemical sensitivity or related disabilities, attendees at public meetings are reminded that other attendees may be sensitive to various chemical-based products. Please help the City accommodate these individuals.

KNOW YOUR RIGHTS UNDER THE SUNSHINE ORDINANCE (Chapter 67 of the San Francisco Administrative Code): Government's duty is to serve the public, reaching its decisions in full view of the public. Commissions, boards, councils, and other agencies of the City and County exist to conduct the people's business. This ordinance assures that deliberations are conducted before the people and that City operations are open to the people's review.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON YOUR RIGHTS UNDER THE SUNSHINE ORDINANCE OR TO REPORT A VIOLATION OF THE SUNSHINE ORDINANCE, CONTACT THE SUNSHINE ORDINANCE TASK FORCE, City Hall, Room 244, 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place, San Francisco, CA 94102-4689; phone: (415) 554-7724; fax: (415) 554-7854; email: SOTF@SFGOV.ORG. Copies of the Sunshine Ordinance can be obtained from the Clerk of the Sunshine Task Force, at the San Francisco Public Library, and on the City's website at

Lobbyist Registration and Reporting Requirements: Individuals who influence or attempt to influence local policy or administrative action may be required by the San Francisco Lobbyist Ordinance (San Francisco Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code sections 2.100 – 2.160) to register and report lobbying activity. For more information about the Lobbyist Ordinance, please contact the Ethics Commission at 25 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 220, San Francisco, CA 94102; telephone (415) 252-3100, fax (415) 252-3112; and website:


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