Ethics Commission
City and County of San Francisco

Executive Director’s Report – February 23, 2015

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT
TO THE SAN FRANCISCO ETHICS COMMISSION
For the Meeting of February 23, 2015.  

1. Budget/Staffing.

The budget proposal as adopted by the Commission is being submitted on February 23, 2015.  The Mayor’s proposed budget is scheduled to be released on June 1 and Board of Supervisor hearings on the budget will also be in June.

2. Investigation and enforcement program.

As of February 13, 2015, there were 17 pending formal complaints alleging violations within the Ethics Commission’s jurisdiction. 

Category # of Complaints
Campaign Finance 10
Conflict of Interest 4
Governmental Ethics 0
Lobbyist Ordinance 0
Campaign Consultant Ordinance 0
Sunshine Ordinance 3
TOTAL 17

Enforcement Summaries

  1. On January 26, 2015, the Ethics Commission entered into a stipulated agreement with Emily Murase and Committee to Elect Emily Murase for SF School Board 2014.  Ms. Murase admitted to committing two violations of San Francisco Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code section 1.161(a) and agreed to pay a penalty of $1,000.  A copy of the agreement is available on the Commission’s website.
  2. On January 26, 2015, the Ethics Commission entered into a stipulated agreement with Rodrigo Santos and Rodrigo Santos for San Francisco Community College Board 2014.  Mr. Santos admitted to committing two violations of San Francisco Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code section 1.161(a)(1) and agreed to pay a penalty of $1,500.  A copy of the agreement is available on the Commission’s website.
  3. On January 26, 2015, the Ethics Commission entered into a stipulated agreement with Mark Murphy and Mark Murphy for School Board 2014.  Mr. Murphy admitted to committing one violation of San Francisco Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code section 1.161(a) and agreed to pay a penalty of $500.  A copy of the agreement is available on the Commission’s website.
  4. On January 26, 2015, the Ethics Commission entered into a stipulated agreement with Hydra Mendoza and Hydra Mendoza for School Board 2014.  Ms. Mendoza admitted to committing one violation of San Francisco Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code section 1.161(a)(1) and agreed to pay a penalty of $750.  A copy of the agreement is available on the Commission’s website.

3. Campaign finance disclosure program.

a. Filing deadline.   The most recent filing deadline fell on February 2, 2015 for the Second Semi-annual statement, which covers the reporting period ending December 31, 2014.  Staff has identified twenty-one committees who have not yet filed their required campaign statement. These filers have been contacted by phone of their filing obligations. Staff will send these filers a Non-Specific Written Notice. In the interim, staff receives and processes campaign statements for this and other filing deadlines.  Staff continues to answer questions from and conduct outreach to candidates and other committee representatives about campaign finance filing obligations. The next filing deadline falls on July 31, 2015 for the First Semi-Annual statement, which covers the reporting period ending June 30, 2015.

b. Collection of late filing fees and contribution forfeitures.  In the fiscal year 2014 -2015, as of January 31, 2015, the Commission collected $24,338 in late fees and forfeitures.  As of January 31, 2015, the Commission’s outstanding late fees and forfeitures were $14,769, of which $13,260 is pending at the Bureau of Delinquent Revenues (BDR). 

c. Status of accounts to San Francisco Bureau of Delinquent Revenues (BDR).  The following chart provides details on active accounts referred to BDR as of June 30, 2014:

 # Committee/
Filer
ID # Treasurer or Responsible Officer Date referral effective Original amount referred Last month’s balance Current balance (Changes are in bold)
1 Johnny K. Wang
JKW Political Consulting
100716 Johnny K. Wang 4/19/11 $4,000 $4,000 $4,000
2 Coalition to Elect  Chris Jackson to Community College Board 1302351 Chris Jackson 6/17/11 $2,658.90 $2,658.90 2,658.90
3 Chris Jackson For Community College Board 1347066 Chris Jackson 7/12/13 $6,600.94 $6,600.94 $6,600.94
            TOTAL $13,260

4. Revenues report. 

For fiscal year 2014-2015, the Commission was budgeted to generate $70,000 in revenues.  As of February 13, 2015, the Commission received $128,926 or 184% of anticipated revenues for the year. 

Source Budgeted Amount FY 14-15 Receipts
Lobbyist Fees $37,000          $80,000
Other Ethics General $1,000                 $8
Campaign Finance Fines $23,000          $24,338
Campaign Consultant Fees $5,000          $12,150
Lobbyist Fines $1,000               $0
Statements of Economic Interests Fines $1,000          $1,320
Other Ethics Fines $1,000            $9,500
Campaign Consultant Fines $1,000            $1,610
Unallocated $0                 $0
Total                        $70,000 $128,926

5. Lobbyist program. 

As of February 13, 2015, 123 individual lobbyists were registered with the Commission.  Total revenues collected to date for the 2014-2015 fiscal year amount to $80,000 in lobbyist registration fees.  The filing deadline for the next lobbyist disclosure statement is March 16, 2015.

6. Campaign Consultant program. 

As of February 6, 2015, 18 campaign consultants were registered with the Commission.  $12,150 in registration fees and $1,610 in fines have been collected so far during the 2014-2015 fiscal year.  The next campaign consultant quarterly report deadline is Monday, March 16, 2015, covering the reporting period from December 1, 2014 through February 28, 2015. 

7. Statements of Economic Interests.

Instructions regarding the 2015 Form 700 filing requirements were sent to Department Heads and Filing Officers on January 22, 2015.  A training for Filing Officers was held on February 4, and an additional training is scheduled for March 4, 2015.

At the August 18th, 2014 discussion of the 2013-2014 Civil Grand Jury report, the Commission expressed interest in pursuing “Recommendation 4,” that Form 700s be formatted to allow the content of the forms to be searched.  Staff indicated that it would be in the best interest to wait for the FPPC to define a statewide standard for the Form 700 data format before building a publicly accessible dataset and search site.  At the time, the FPPC had informed staff that they might develop a format by the end of 2014.  A state format has not been developed and staff does not anticipate that one will be developed soon.  Thus, staff now recommends moving forward without a state format.  Staff will start discussions with Netfile and will seek public input prior to implementation. 

8. Outreach and Education.

For the calendar year 2015, staff has scheduled 14 workshops to provide training to campaign committees of their obligations under state and local campaign finance laws.  Of the 14 workshops, five will cover requirements pertaining to candidates seeking office in November 2015, five will cover requirements pertaining to ballot measure committees and four will cover requirements pertaining to general purpose committees (also referred to as political action committees).  In addition, to the 14 scheduled training workshops, staff will schedule additional training and/or conduct one-on-one training as needed.  Separately, on an on-going basis staff provides training to candidates and campaign treasurers on using the Commission’s online electronic filing system, SFEDS.

Additionally, the Commission continues to offer trainings on Statements of Incompatible Activities to City departments via web trainings.  The following are web video trainings available on the Commission website:

Department of Building Inspection SIA Training
Controller’s Office SIA Training
Department on the Environment SIA Training
Governmental Ethics Ordinance Training for City Employees
Medical Examiner’s Office SIA Training
Non-Candidate Recipient Committee Training
Public Utilities Commission SIA Training
SIA Template Language Training

Respectfully submitted,

_________________________
John St. Croix
Executive Director
S:\ED Report\2015\02.23.2015.docx

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