Ethics Commission
City and County of San Francisco

Executive Director’s Report – March 16, 2018

Date: March 12, 2018
To: Members of the Ethics Commission
From: LeeAnn Pelham, Executive Director
Subject: AGENDA ITEM 10 – Executive Director’s Report for the March 16, 2018 Commission Meeting

Summary

This report provides various programmatic and operational highlights to date since the last monthly Executive Director’s Report.

Action Requested

No action is required by the Commission, as this item is for informational purposes only.

FY19-20 Budget

As noted in my report last month, proposed budgets for the FY19-20 cycle were due to the Mayor’s Budget Office on February 21. A summary overview of the budget package we submitted on February 21 appears in Attachment 1.

Election 2018

Lists of all June 2018 candidates certificated as eligible for public funding, and dashboards showing disbursements to date to candidates who have qualified to receive public funds, are updated in real time and viewable online at the Commission’s Public Funds Disbursements page.

Having now entered the 90-day pre-election period for the June 2018 election, campaign finance data visualizations are being finalized by the Electronic Disclosure and Data Analysis team and are expected go live this week on the Commission’s website at our Campaign Finance Data Dashboards page. Available information for the November 2018 election will also be included.

Statement of Economic Interest Assistance Ongoing for Annual Form 700 Filings

Annual Statements of Economic Interests (“Form 700”) are due by elected and designated public officials throughout California every year on April 1. Because the April 1 deadline this year falls on a Sunday, all annual statements are due no later than Monday, April 2, 2018. The Commission’s Engagement & Compliance team has conducted four information sessions to date to support this annual filing deadline. Earlier this month, a second session for Filing Officers was conducted on March 7, with over 20 individuals attending. A second session was conducted for individual filers on March 12.  Each addressed information and tools available to promote understanding and compliance with filing requirements, including the new, single annual deadline for completing and filing Ethics and Sunshine training certifications. For Filing Officers, it also highlighted the new “no file-no vote” Ordinance that was approved by the Board of Supervisors on March 6, 2018. Materials to assist departments in implementing that new Ordinance are in development and will be provided broadly to departments and once completed.

2016 Campaign Audits

Of the 27 committees identified in March 2017 for audit from the 2016 election, the 16 audits completed to date are now posted online on the Commission’s Campaign Audit Reports web page. These include four audits conducted to date by Commission staff, and 12 audits conducted through the City Services Auditor on the Commission’s behalf of all publicly financed candidates in the 2016 election.

In connection with the June 2018 and November 2018 elections, Commission auditors also continue to review candidates’ requests to be certified as eligible to receive public funds. Auditors also review candidates’ matching funds submissions to verify the amount of public funds their submissions qualify them to receive. These reviews are required to be completed within timeframes specified under the law.

In general, candidate eligibility to receive public funds must be determined within 30 days of a request for certification.  Under the law, the last day for candidates to submit a request to be certified as eligible to receive public funds for the June 2018 election is March 27, 2018.

For matching funds requests by candidates certified as eligible to receive public funds, the law requires each request for payment of public funds to be reviewed and certified by our office within four business days of the request. Within 14 calendar days before the election, however, such requests must be certified within two business days of the request.

Staff News

I am very sorry to announce that Deputy Director and Director of Enforcement and Legal Affairs Jessica Blome will be leaving the Ethics Commission. She has accepted an offer to join a public interest law firm in Berkeley. While it comes as a unique opportunity for Jessica to do important work litigating environmental and animal welfare issues that she felt she could not pass up, it is a significant loss for our office. As colleagues we share her happiness, but we also share her sadness in leaving a role in which she has made such extraordinary contributions. Over the past 19 months, Jessica has established new and stronger enforcement program practices, put together a strong team of investigators, created clear new Enforcement Regulations, led the Commission’s work on Sunshine, public disclosure, and Whistleblower issues, and shepherded efforts to update internal office practices and policies to better support staff development and retention. These accomplishments will have a lasting positive impact on the Commission’s work well beyond Jessica’s tenure, and we are grateful for the imprint she leaves with us. Her experience, insights, and doggedness have been invaluable, and we will miss Jessica’s wisdom, guidance, and professionalism. With her new role beginning Monday, March 19, Jessica’s last day in the office is Friday, March 16.

During the period of leadership transition in the Enforcement Division until the Director of Enforcement and Legal Affairs position is filled, I have appointed Senior Investigative Analyst Jeffrey Pierce to act on a temporary basis as Interim Director of Enforcement and Legal Affairs. He assumes that role effective March 19, 2018.

A snapshot of Ethics Commissions positions in recruitment appears below in Table 1.

Table 1 -Status of Ethics Commission Positions in Recruitment

Position Working Title Type Status Type Job Class Title/No
Senior Auditor Audits Oral interview phase concluded. Vacancy/non-exempt Senior Admin Analyst (1823)
Sr. IS Business Analyst El. Discl & Data Analysis Job posting being finalized Vacancy/non-exempt Senior IS Business Analyst (1053)
Principal Admin. Analyst Engt/Compliance Job posting in development. Vacancy/non-exempt Princ. Admin Analyst (1824)
Sr. Admin. Analyst Engt/Compliance Job posting in development. New/non-exempt Senior Admin Analyst (1823)

Revenues Report

Table 2 shows the revenues received by the Commission during the fiscal year that began on July 1, 2017, as of March 12, 2018.

Table 2- Summary of FY 2017-18 Revenues as of March 12, 2018

Source Budgeted Amount FY 17-18 Receipts as of March 12, 2018
Lobbyist Registration Fees $85,000 $76,400
Lobbyists Fines $500 $1,550
Campaign Consultants Fees $7,000 $12,005
Contact Lobbyist and Other e.g., copies made by public $2,450 $0
Statement of Economic Interests Filings-Late Fees $1,250 $152
Campaign Consultant Fines $1,000 $1,460
Campaign Finance Fines (includes late fees and forfeitures) $23,000 $64,080
Ethics, Other/ Administrative Fines Levied by the Commission $7,500 $400
Major Developer Fee $    0 $2,000
Total $127,700 $158,047

 

I look forward to answering any questions about this report at your meeting on March 16th.

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