Ethics Commission
City and County of San Francisco

San Francisco Ethics Commission Audit Report: Stevon Cook for School Board 2016, FPPC ID #1382554

I. Introduction

This Audit Report summarizes the audit results of the committee, Stevon Cook for School Board 2016, FPPC Identification Number 1382554 (“the Committee”), for the period from January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2016.  The audit was conducted by Ethics Commission staff following the 2016 City election as part of the Commission’s 2016 audit cycle to determine whether the Committee materially complied with the requirements of the Political Reform Act (“the Act”) (California Government Code section 81000, et seq.) and San Francisco’s Campaign Finance Reform Ordinance (“CFRO”) (San Francisco Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code section 1.100, et seq).

II. Audit Authority

San Francisco Charter section C3.699-11 authorizes the Ethics Commission to audit campaign statements that are filed with the Commission along with other relevant documents to determine whether a committee materially complied with applicable requirements of State and local laws.  Section 1.150(a) of the CFRO requires the Commission to audit all candidates who receive public financing and authorizes other audits to be initiated of other committees irrespective of whether the committee received any public funds.

III. Audit Scope and Procedures

This audit was performed in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards.  The audit involved a review of the Committee’s records for the period covered by the audit.  This review was conducted to determine:

  1. Compliance with all disclosure requirements pertaining to contributions, expenditures, accrued expenditures, and loans, including itemization when required;
  2. Compliance with applicable filing deadlines;
  3. Compliance with restrictions on contributions, loans, and expenditures;
  4. Accuracy of total reported receipts, disbursements, and cash balances as compared to bank records;
  5. Compliance with all record-keeping requirements;
  6. Compliance with all provisions related to the Commission’s public financing program; and
  7. Any unexpended public funds that must be returned to the City up to the amount of public funds received by the candidate.

The Commission posts audit reports to its web-site and, in cases of apparent violations of law, forwards them to the appropriate enforcement agency.

IV. Committee Information

The Committee qualified as a candidate-controlled committee on February 26, 2016 to support the election of Stevon Cook (“the Candidate”) for School Board in the November 8, 2016 election.  For the period covered by the audit, Stacy Owens served as the treasurer and Stevon Cook served as the assistant treasurer.  The Committee terminated June 30, 2017.

V. Audit Findings

For the period covered by the audit, the Committee received $48,247 in contributions (the Committee did not receive any loans, non-monetary contributions or public funds) and incurred $55,589 in campaign expenditures.

Auditors concluded there were two material findings with respect to the Committee.

Finding 1 

The Committee accepted a contribution from a corporation that must be forfeited (Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code Section 1.114(b): Limits on Contributions from Corporations)

S.F. C&GC Code Section 1.114(b) provides that corporations, whether for profit or not, may not make contributions to candidates for City elective office.  Contributions received from corporations are required to be forfeited to the City.

The Committee received one contribution totaling $75 drawn on the account of a corporate entity.
The table lists the contribution made by a corporation.

Check Date Check Number Contributor Name Listed on Contributor Check Contribution Amount Deposit Date Notes
10/18/16 5013 De Brus Construction
2901 Washington St #3
SF CA 94115
$75.00 10/27/16 “De Brus Construction” is listed (with same name and address) with the Secretary of State as an Incorporated entity
Total $75.00

From the documentation provided, there was no evidence that these contributions were either returned or forfeited.

Finding 2 

The Committee had expenditures up to $733.66 that remained unpaid beyond 180 days (Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code Section 1.118: Payment of Accrued Expenses)

S.F. C&GC Code Section 1.118 provides that a candidate committee that accepts goods or services on credit shall pay for such accrued expenses in full no later than 180 calendar days after receipt of a bill or invoice and in no event later than 180 calendar days after the last calendar day of the month in which the goods were delivered or the services were rendered.

The table below lists accrued expenditures that were paid after 180 calendar days.

Invoice Date Payee Description Amount not Paid Timely Check # Check Date Due Date to Make Payment in Full Days Late
11/03/16 Storefront Political Media Invoice #2016-741 (total invoice amount $2,313.66):  Partial payment of $500 (cleared bank account 6/5/17) $500.00 5057 05/22/17 05/02/17 20 days late
11/03/16 Storefront Political Media Invoice #2016-741 (total invoice amount $2,313.66):  Partial payment of $233.12 (cleared bank account 07/21/17)  $233.12 5059 06/30/17 05/02/17 59 days late
Total $ 733.66
Percent of campaign expenditures that were not paid timely 1%

VI.  Committee’s Response to Findings

In response to the findings contained in this Audit, the Committee provided the following response:

Finding 1:
“Per the remit envelope accompanying the contribution, the committee recorded the contribution as from Maolchlm DeBrus, an individual.”

Auditor Comment:
Although the remit envelope may have indicated the name of an individual, the October 18, 2016 check it contained was a contribution made payable to the Committee from De Brus Construction.

Finding 2:
“The committee did its best when retiring debt to comply with payments within 180 days.”

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