Date: April 21, 2016
To: Members of the Ethics Commission
From: LeeAnn Pelham, Executive Director
Subject: AGENDA ITEM 8 – Executive Director’s Report for the April 25, 2016 Commission Meeting
This report provides various programmatic and operational highlights to date since the last monthly Executive Director’s Report.
No action is required by the Commission, as this item is only for informational purposes.
Budget and Staffing
For a status update on the Commission’s proposed budget for FY17 and 18, please see the memorandum and attachments for Item 5 on the Commission’s April 25, 2016 meeting agenda.
The job announcement for the Ethics Commission’s Deputy Director position was posted at the end of March on the City’s employment page, at https://www.jobaps.com/sf/. To help attract a wide range of candidates, the position description was posted by the City’s Department of Human Resources on four additional web sites it recommended. To maximize the benefit of our 30-day listings on those sites, we have extended the application deadline from April 22 to Friday May 6, 2016.
Beginning in late March we welcomed three temporary, as-needed Staff Assistants to our office to help with the growing election season workload. Luke Gray is finishing up his undergraduate studies in Political Science and Philosophy at UC Davis this quarter, and he is receiving academic credit for his work with us. Frances McEvoy joined us after having served as a part-time office assistant with the Commission in late 2015. She will be graduating in May from the University of San Francisco with a degree in Politics. Jack Cannice is a recent graduate of the University of Southern California with a degree in Philosophy, Politics, and Law. Each has been assisting with a variety of front office projects, including filing assistance, general office duties, and special projects as assigned. Luke will be with us through June 8th, while Frances and Jack will be working with us through June 30, 2016, the end of the fiscal year.
As staff continues to plan for the coming fiscal year, a list of ongoing staff projects and key operational deadlines for July 1 through December 31 2016 is provided in Attachment 1 for informational purposes.
On April 14, staff conducted a training for candidates and treasurers involved in the November 2016 election. The session reviewed a variety of topics from recordkeeping to prohibited contributions and the Commission’s audit function. The session fulfilled the mandatory training requirement for attendees for this election cycle.
The CORO Youth Development Program invited me to do a presentation with 15 of their Bay Area YDP Fellows on April 21st. The discussion centered around the work of the Commission and the role of ethics in public sector leadership.
Campaign Cycle Activities
Public Financing Program
Three candidates to date have been certified as eligible to receive public funds in connection with their candidacy on the November 2016 ballot. Two candidates are in the District 1 Supervisorial race and one candidate is in District 11. Under changes to City law that took effect in May 2012, candidates in this year’s election who qualify for public financing may not receive those funds until June 20, 2016, or 142 days before the election.
Staff are now conducting audits of the two candidates who received public financing in 2015 and are collecting audit records from the committees that were randomly selected last month for the other 2015 audits that will be conducted. Eleven pre-2015 audit reports (seven campaign committees and four lobbyist audits) remain under final supervisory review prior to their release. Finalizing those audit reports will be a priority over the next two weeks. Staff has also undertaken an internal review of its audit to assess what processes or approaches might be improved as the new round of audits begins. Additional longer term enhancements are also being examined.
Other Program Highlights
Statement of Economic Interests (Form 700) Disclosure Program
The annual deadline for Statement of Economic Interests (Form 700) was April 1. Roughly 500 individuals are required to file their statements electronically with our office. Those include all elected officials, members of boards and commissions, and department heads. As of April 19, 2016, 95 percent of e-filers had filed their Annual Form 700 through the Commission’s online filing system. We will be providing a list at the end of this month to the Mayor’s Office and Board of all electronic filers whose statements remain outstanding at that time.
Based on reports of departmental filing contacts we have received as of April 10, 2016, 97 percent of the City’s other 3,800+ designated filers who continue to file their Form 700s on paper had done so with their respective departments. Commission staff are continuing to work with departmental filing contacts to ensure all statements are filed.
Campaign Consultant Program
Campaign consultants are required to register with the Ethics Commission once the threshold in section 1.505 of the Campaign Consultant Ordinance is met. Each registered campaign consultant is required to re-register annually at the beginning of the calendar year. As of mid-April 2016, 28 campaign consultants were registered with the Commission for 2016. Campaign Consultants are required to submit their next quarterly reports no later than June 15, 2016. These reports will cover the reporting period from March 1, 2016 through May 31, 2016.
Investigation and Enforcement Program
Investigative matters under the jurisdiction of the Ethics Commission are treated as formal complaints if, based on the allegations and Executive Director’s preliminary review, the Executive Director determines there is reason to believe a violation of law may have occurred. Once the Executive Director has determined with regard to a particular complaint that there is reason to believe a violation of law may have occurred, those complaints are logged as formal complaints. As of mid-April 2016, 24 formal complaints alleging violations within the Ethics Commission’s jurisdiction remained pending. Table 1 summarizes the number of pending formal complaints by category.
Table 1 – Summary of Pending Formal Complaints, by Type, as of Mid-April, 2016
|Conflict of Interest||11|
|Campaign Consultant Ordinance||1|
Table 2 shows the revenues received during the current fiscal year by the Commission as of April 15, 2016. The $158,372 received through that date is roughly 226 percent more than the $70,000 figure budgeted for FY2015-16.
Table 2 – Summary of FY 2015-16 Revenues as of April 15, 2016
|Source||Budgeted Amount||FY15-16 Receipts as of mid-April|
|Other, Ethics General (e.g., copies made by public)||$1,000||$7|
|Statement of Economic Interests Filers||$1,000||$1,660|
|Contact Lobbyist Filers||$1,000||500|
|Campaign Consultant Filers||$1,000||$1,750|
|Campaign Finance Fines (includes late fees and forfeitures)||$23,000||$29,755|
|Administrative Fines Levied by the Commission|
Bureau of Delinquent Revenues (BDR) Accounts
One new referral was submitted on March 23, 2016 to the San Francisco Bureau of Delinquent Revenues (BDR) since the last Executive Director’s report. The following chart summarizes active accounts that have been referred by the Ethics Commission.
|Committee/Filer||ID #||Treasurer or Responsible Officer||Date referral effective||Original amount referred||Last month’s balance||Current balance||Status|
|Chris Jackson For Community College Board||1347066||Chris Jackson||7/12/13||$6,601||$6,601||$6,601||Judgement issued 11/18/15 Small Claims Court|
|Committee to Elect Norman For Supervisor||1327771||Jacqueline Norman||5/01/15||$9,000||$9,000||$9,000|
|Bob Squeri For District 7 Supervisor 2012||1346150||Bob Squeri||5/01/15||$2,000||$2,000||$2,000|
|Mark Farrell For Supervisor 2010||1320480||Mark Farrell||7/08/15||$190,903||$190,903||$190,903|
|Isabel Urbano||153993||Isabel Urbano||3/23/16||$7,000||–||$7,000|
I look forward to answering any questions you might have in connection with this Executive Director’s report at the April 25th Commission meeting.