Ethics Commission
City and County of San Francisco

Minutes – August 28, 2017

Minutes of the Regular Meeting of
The San Francisco Ethics Commission
August 28, 2017
Room 400 – City Hall
1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
San Francisco, CA 94102
(Approved September 25, 2017)

1. Call to order and roll call.

Chair Keane called the meeting to order at 5:30 PM.  Chair Keane welcomed Commissioner Yvonne Lee, appointed by Mayor Edwin Lee, who was sworn on August 28, 2017.

COMMISSION MEMBERS PRESENT: Peter Keane, Chairperson; Daina Chiu, Vice-Chairperson; Paul Renne, Commissioner; Quentin L. Kopp, Commissioner; Yvonne Lee, Commissioner.

STAFF PRESENT: LeeAnn Pelham, Executive Director; Jessica Blome, Deputy Director; Kyle Kundert, Senior Policy Analyst; Pat Ford, Policy Analyst.

OFFICE OF THE CITY ATTORNEY: Andrew Shen, Deputy City Attorney (DCA).

OTHERS PRESENT: Lauren Kahn; Dr. Derek Kerr, Kim Bender, Glide; Kathie Lowry; David Mihoi; Hulda E. Garfolo, Friends of Ethics; Debbi Lerman, SF Human Services Network; Toren Lewis, Bolder Advocacy; Jan Masaoka, California Association of Nonprofits; Ace Washington; Ken Reggio, Episcopal Community Services; Charles Marsteller, Friends of Ethics; Fernando Marti, Council of Community Housing Organizations; Lynn Dolce, Edgewood Center for Children and Families; Nancy Nielsen, Lutheran Social Services of Northern CA; Lenine Umali, Compass Family Services; Don Falk, Tenderloin Neighborhood Development Corporation; other unidentified members of the public.

MATERIALS DISTRIBUTED:

  • June 26, 2017, draft minutes.
  • August 24, 2017, Staff report and attachments regarding Ethics Commission Annual Policy Plan.
  • August 24, 2017, Staff report and attachments regarding the 2017 San Francisco Anti-Corruption and Accountability Ordinance.
  • August 24, 2017, Staff report and attachments regarding proposed ordinance to amend the Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code.
  • August 24, 2017, Staff report and attachments regarding proposal to strengthen Commission’s Enforcement Regulations.
  • August 24, 2017, Enforcement Report and attachments.
  • August 24, 2017, Executive Director’s Report and attachments.

2. Public comment on matters appearing or not appearing on the agenda.

Charles Marsteller from Friends of Ethics spoke regarding Friends of Ethics archives that they submitted to the Commission Staff for use.  Ace Washington commented on how crucial the Ethics Commission is to the City and County as far as fair government is concerned.

3. Discussion and possible action on draft minutes for the Commission’s June 26, 2017 meeting.

Commissioner Lee made a request to recuse herself from voting on the minutes.  Chair Keane indicated she was sworn in that day and was unable to familiarize herself with the matters that are before the Commission.  Chair Keane remarked that on this Commission, Commissioners cannot abstain from voting, but if they feel that it would be improper to vote on an issue because they do not have enough information, they can ask to be recused on those matters.

Motion 170828-01 (Kopp/Renne): Moved, seconded and passed (4-0) that Commissioner Lee be recused from voting on Item 3.

Public Comment:
None.

Motion 170828-02 (Kopp/Renne): Moved, seconded and passed unanimously (4-0, Commissioner Lee recused) that the Commission approve the minutes for the June 26, 2017, regular meeting.

4. Discussion and possible action on Ethics Commission Annual Policy Plan as revised for FY17-18 and presented in Staff Policy Report.

Senior Policy Analyst Kyle Kundert spoke regarding staff report.  Commissioner Chiu commended Mr. Kundert and Staff for the hard work on the policy report and expressed her appreciation of how this will be helpful going forward.  Commissioner Renne confirmed that the Annual Policy Plan will be available on the Ethics Commission web-site, Mr. Kundert affirmed.  Commissioner Chiu asked if this was shared with the Board of Supervisors.  Mr. Kundert replied he had not reached out to them specifically.  Commissioner Chiu remarked that it would be helpful for the Board of Supervisors to know the work the Commission is doing in advance.  Mr. Kundert highlighted a few items upcoming through the policy report that are not on the tracker.

Public Comment:
None.

5. Discussion and possible action on Staff recommendation to adopt the 2017 San Francisco Anti-Corruption and Accountability Ordinance that builds on the initial Proposition J Revision proposal and amends City campaign and government conduct laws (SF Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code Articles I and III).

Senior Policy Analyst Kyle Kundert spoke regarding his report.  Chair Keane suggested three changes to the proposal regarding the Commissioner/department head fundraising ban, private right of action, and public benefits provisions.  Chair Keane asked for a motion to adopt Staff’s statement of the San Francisco Anti- Corruption Ordinance with those suggested changes.  Kopp moved. Renne seconded. Commissioner Lee asked to be recused from voting on this agenda item.

Public Comment:
Bruce Wolf spoke regarding Commissioner Lee’s recusal; he suggested the vote be postponed until Commissioner Lee has time to review the agenda item.

Motion 170828-03 (Kopp/Chiu): Moved, seconded and passed unanimously (4-0) that Commissioner Lee be recused from voting on Item 5.
Public Comment:
Several members of the public spoke regarding this agenda item.

Commissioner Lee was excused for the remainder of the meeting.  A motion was made by Commissioner Chui to continue this matter to the next meeting.  Commissioner Renne concurred.  Chair Keane and Commissioner Kopp agreed to continue the vote to the September meeting but both remarked they were ready to vote today.

Public Comment:
Several members of the public spoke regarding this motion and agenda item.

Motion 170828-04 (Chiu/Renne): Moved, seconded and passed (4-0, Commissioner Lee recused) that the Commission continue the vote on Item 5 to the September Commission meeting.

6. Discussion and possible action on proposed ordinance to amend the Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code to disqualify members of City boards and commissions who have not filed their Form 700s from participating in or voting on certain matters.

Senior Policy Analyst Kyle Kundert spoke regarding his report.  Discussion ensued among the Commissioners regarding the exceptions to the proposed ordinance.

Public Comment:
Several members of the public spoke regarding this agenda item.

Commissioner Kopp moved to delete proposed Section 3.1-102.5(C)(2).

Public Comment:
None.

Motion 170828-05 (Kopp/Renne): Moved, seconded and passed (4-0, Commissioner Lee excused) that the amendments be adopted.

Public Comment:
None.

Motion 170828-06 (Kopp/Chiu): Moved, seconded and passed (4-0, Commissioner Lee excused) for the ordinance as amended.

7. Discussion and possible action on overview of Staff’s preliminary proposals to strengthen Commission’s Enforcement Regulations.

Jessica Blome, Deputy Director, spoke regarding her report.  Discussion ensued with Commissioners and Deputy Director Blome.

Public Comment:
None.

8. Discussion of Enforcement Report. An update on various programmatic and operational highlights of the Enforcement Program’s activities since the last monthly meeting.

Jessica Blome, Deputy Director, spoke regarding her report.

Public Comment:
None.

9. Discussion of Executive Director’s Report.  An update of various programmatic and operational highlights of Ethics Commission staff activities since the Commission’s last monthly meeting.  The written report, which is available at the Commission office and on its website, covers a range of topics such the Commission’s budget, outreach activities, campaign finance disclosure and public financing programs, audit program, lobbyist program, campaign consultant program, permit consultant program, major developer program, and future staff projects.  Any of these subjects may potentially be part of the Director’s presentation or discussed by the Commission.

LeeAnn Pelham, Executive Director, spoke regarding her report.  Commissioner Chiu congratulated Staff on closing out all the 2012 audits.

Public Comment:
None.

10. Discussion and possible action regarding status of complaints received or initiated by the Ethics Commission.  Possible Close Session.

Commission did not go into closed session.

Public Comment:
None.

11. Discussion and possible action on items for future meetings.

Commissioner Kopp referred to Staff the matter Mr. Marsteller mentioned regarding Mr. Durf Butler.  Commissioner Kopp stated Mr. Butler had been indicted and was being prosecuted by the U.S. attorney on charges of bid rigging in federal contracts, and was awarded a $1.6 million contract by the SF Muni Transportation Agency.  Commissioner Kopp stated information may be found in an article posted August 28, 2017 by the San Francisco Examiner.  Commissioner Kopp stated he would like Staff to research the federal law regarding this matter and report at the September meeting.  Commissioner Kopp also commented on a lawsuit with which he is involved against the Governor of California and Fair Political Practices Commission regarding 2016 legislation authorizing California general law cities to enact public campaign financing provisions despite the ban of proposition 73, a voter initiative adopted by California voters in 1988.

Public Comment:
Charles Marsteller of Friends of Ethics spoke regarding this item.

12. Additional opportunity for public comment public matters appearing or not appearing on the agenda.

Public Comment:
None.

13. Adjournment

Motion 170828-07 (Kopp/Chiu): Moved, seconded and passed (4-0; Lee excused) to adjourn the meeting.

Public Comment:
None.

The Commission adjourned at 9:30 PM.

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