Ethics Commission
City and County of San Francisco

Summary of Actions Taken and Matters Discussed at Ethics Commission April 25, 2016 Regular Meeting

Date: April 26, 2016
Contact: LeeAnn Pelham, Executive Director (415) 252-3100

At its regular meeting on April 25, 2016, the San Francisco Ethics Commission discussed the following matters and took the following actions:

  • Welcomed its newest member, Commissioner Daina Chiu, who was appointed to a six-year term by Assessor-Recorder Carmen Chu to fill the vacancy created in March by the completion of Benedict Hur’s tenure as a Commissioner.
  • Noted that Commissioner Hayon would not be at the meeting due to an excused absence.
  • Heard and discussed a staff presentation on San Francisco’s Limited Public Financing Program for the November 2015 Election.
  • Discussed the development of the Ethics Commission’s policy agenda and:
    • voted 4-0 to request Staff to provide at the May Commission meeting for possible action its analysis and recommendations regarding a ballot measure proposed for the November 2016 ballot by Represent.Us and Friends of Ethics that would enact new restrictions on lobbyist gifts and contribution bundling. The Commission requested that the May Staff report include feedback from Interested Persons meetings held in the coming weeks to solicit public comment on the proposals.
    • in response to a request by California Common Cause to support SB1107 to remove an existing State law ban on the use of public funds for local public financing systems, the Commission voted 4-0 to support Common Cause/CA with respect to its request for support on SB1107 and to call upon the City’s State Legislation Committee to also formally back SB1107.
    • requested the Staff to bring to the May Commission meeting for possible action a draft policy agenda that further details (1) a proposed sequencing of policy items, and (2) a proposal and possible logistics for convening an Ethics Commission policy conference.
  • Heard and discussed a Staff report on the status of the Ethics Commission’s proposed budget for Fiscal Years 2017 and 2018, including a supplementary Staff handout, Ethics Commission Enforcement Program Caseload Data as of April 22, 2016. The Commission stated that it strongly supports the Commission’s full budget request and conveyed its consensus view that the Staff should continue to press for all items identified in the Commission’s February 22, 2016 Blueprint for Accountability budget transmittal.
  • Heard brief introductory comments by Commissioner Keane on the process leading to the Ethics Commission’s referral to the Bureau of Delinquent Revenue of forfeiture concerning Supervisor Mark Farrell. Voted 4-0 to meet in closed session to confer with Legal Counsel regarding potential litigation in the matter. Following its closed session discussion on the item, the Commission resumed meeting in open session and announced that it had taken no action during closed session.
  • Discussed the April Executive Director’s report, and received a one-page handout prepared by Staff, Ethics Commission Recommendations to Strengthen the Whistleblower Protection Ordinance (WPO), that summarized the Commission’s proposed amendments to Ordinance WPO regulations the Commission adopted on March 28, 2016.
  • Approved the draft minutes as presented for its March 28, 2016, regular meeting by a vote of 4-0.

Draft Minutes for the April 25th meeting will be posted publicly and on the Commission’s website upon their completion and will be included on the Agenda for the Commission’s next Regular Meeting. The next Regular Meeting of the Ethics Commission is scheduled for Monday, May 23, 2016 in Room 400 of City Hall at 5:30 pm.

For further information, please feel free to contact the Ethics Commission at (415) 252-3100.

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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. We invite you to follow our work at www.sfethics.org.

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