Ethics Commission
City and County of San Francisco

Announcement of Interested Persons Meetings to Discuss Possible Revisions to the Commission’s Enforcement Regulations


Monday, September 18, 2017
12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
25 Van Ness Avenue
Room 70 (basement)
San Francisco, CA 94102

And

Wednesday, September 20, 2017
4:30 PM to 5:30 PM
25 Van Ness Avenue
Room 70 (basement)
San Francisco, CA 94102

Ethics Commission Staff will be holding two meetings to receive public input on the Staff’s proposal to revise the Ethics Commission Regulations for Investigations and Enforcement Proceedings (Enforcement Regulations) and combine them with the Ethics Commission Regulations for Handling Violations of the Sunshine Ordinance.

Conceptually, the proposals would:

  1. Delegate responsibility for conducting probable cause conferences and making probable cause determinations from the Ethics Commission to the Executive Director;
  2. Delegate responsibility to conduct investigations to the Deputy Director for Enforcement;
  3. Use the Executive Director’s written determination of a Finding of Probable Cause as the charging document for administrative hearing purposes instead of creating a duplicative Accusation document for that purpose;
  4. Require the Ethics Commission to consider proposed settlement agreements in public session and allow for certain stipulations to be heard by consent calendar;
  5. Combine portions of the Ethics Commission Regulations for Handling Violations of the Sunshine Ordinance with the Enforcement Regulations, while preserving the integrity of both the authority and jurisdictional responsibilities of the Ethics Commission and Sunshine Ordinance Task Force under the City’s Sunshine Ordinance;
  6. Permit the Commission to enter Default Orders when respondent(s) fail to meet their obligation to participate in an enforcement action;
  7. Codify Commission policy to waive late filing fees for filing deadlines that fall on weekends and City holidays and amend the late filing fee waiver policy to reflect the requirements of the enabling ordinances.

Staff will include feedback from these meetings in its analysis and recommendations when it presents a draft of the amended regulations to the Ethics Commission at its October 23, 2017, regular meeting. Staff will consider the Commission’s policy recommendations, along with any additional public comment, for its final draft of the amended regulations, which is planned for presentation at the Commission’s November 27, 2017, regular meeting.

The Staff’s memo outlining the proposed changes and existing regulations can be accessed here:

The Commission is particularly interested in public comment addressing the following questions:

  • How and whether the approaches outlined in the Staff’s memorandum would strengthen the due process interests and overall effectiveness of the Commission’s enforcement process?
  • What additional changes could strengthen the workability, impartiality, timeliness, and transparency of the Commission’s enforcement process?
  • What approaches taken in other jurisdictions should be considered to strengthen the effectiveness of the Commission’s investigative and enforcement processes?

Staff also welcomes written comments on the proposed changes, which can be sent via email to ethics.commission@sfgov.org, or via regular mail to San Francisco Ethics Commission, 25 Van Ness Avenue, Suite 220, San Francisco, CA 94102. Written comment should be submitted no later than October 13, 2017, to be considered in Staff’s draft of the proposed Enforcement Regulations.

For questions about the upcoming Interested persons meetings, please contact Jessica Blome at (415) 252-3100. We welcome your input and hope to see you at one of our upcoming meetings.

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