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San Francisco Ethics Commission Audit Report: District 11 Democratic Club, FPPC ID #991741


I. Introduction

This Audit Report summarizes the audit results of the committee, District 11 Democratic Club, Identification Number 991741 (“the Committee”), from January 1, 2013 through December 31, 2014. The audit was conducted to determine whether the Committee materially complied with the requirements of the Political Reform Act (“the Act”) (California Government Code section 81000, et seq.) and San Francisco’s Campaign Finance Reform Ordinance (“CFRO”) (San Francisco Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code section 1.100, et seq).

II. Audit Authority

San Francisco Charter section C3.699-11 authorizes the Ethics Commission (“the Commission”) to audit campaign statements that are filed with the Commission along with other relevant documents to determine whether the committee complied with applicable requirements of State and local laws.

III. Audit Scope and Procedures

This audit was performed in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards. The audit involved a review of the Committee’s records for the period covered by the audit. This review was conducted to determine:

  1. Compliance with all disclosure requirements pertaining to contributions, expenditures, accrued expenditures, and loans, including itemization when required;
  2. Compliance with applicable filing deadlines;
  3. Compliance with restrictions on contributions, loans, and expenditures;
  4. Accuracy of total reported receipts, disbursements, and cash balances as compared to bank records; and
  5. Compliance with all record-keeping requirements.

The Commission posts audit reports to its web site and, in cases of apparent violations of law, forwards them to the appropriate enforcement agency.

IV. Committee Information

The Committee was formed in 1999 to encourage the participation and promote the interests of the residents of San Francisco Supervisorial District 11. During the period covered by the audit, the Committee’s treasurer was Rosario Cervantes from January 2013 through April 2014 and Nadia Conrad from April 2014 to December 2014. The Committee remains active as of the date of this report.

V. Audit Findings

For the period from January 1, 2013 through December 31, 2014, the Committee received $19,475 in contributions and incurred $19,983 in expenditures.

The Commission determined that there was one material finding with respect to the audit of the Committee: the Committee failed to maintain complete campaign records for contributions totaling $5,470, or 28 percent of total contributions received, in violation of Government Code section 84104 and S.F. Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code (S.F. C&GC Code) sections 1.106 and 1.109.

Government Code Section 84104 and Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code Section 1.106 and 1.109: Recordkeeping Regarding Contributions Received

Government Code section 84104 and S.F. C&GC Code section 1.109 provide that it is the duty of each candidate, treasurer and elected officer to maintain detailed accounts, records, bills and receipts that are necessary to prepare campaign statements, and to retain the documents for a period of four years following the date the appropriate campaign statement is filed. Section 84104 is incorporated into the Campaign Finance Reform Ordinance at S.F. C&GC Code section 1.106.

The Committee did not maintain complete records for contributions received. The Committee failed to maintain supporting documentation for contributions totaling $5,470, or 28 percent of total contributions. The contributions for which there was a lack of supporting documents were received over two reporting periods: 1/1-6/30/13 and 7/1-9/21/13. See Attachment to Audit Report.

VI. Committee’s Response to Finding

The Committee provided the following comments with respect to the audit finding:

A majority of the missing contribution documentation is from June 2013, when the Committee’s current treasurer, Nadia Conrad, was not treasurer. She made attempts to find this missing documentation by reviewing materials the Committee had in storage and by contacting the individual who was treasurer in June 2013, both to no avail.

She then attempted to obtain copies of the contributor checks from the Committee’s financial institution, Wells Fargo, in December 2015. She was told by her bank that Wells Fargo stores its electronic copies with the National Banking Service.

In spite of the Committee paying $315 in fees to receive these copies via facsimile, the treasurer was informed on January 9, 2016 by National Banking Service that the facsimile was unsuccessful so it opted to instead mail hard copies of the 2013 contributor checks via post. In fact, only three check copies (totaling $70) were sent via facsimile to the Ethics Commission, addressed to Ms. Conrad. To date, the Committee has yet to receive the check copies despite numerous follow-up telephone calls by the treasurer. The Committee requested a refund for the fees charged by Wells Fargo and National Banking Service since only three check copies were sent but was given a refund of only half of the $315. The treasurer has been waiting for the check copies to arrive in the mail but they have yet to arrive after over a month.

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