Date: September 24, 2018
Contact: LeeAnn Pelham (415) 252-3100
At its monthly meeting on September 21, 2018, the San Francisco Ethics Commission approved a settlement agreement with former campaign consultant Quintin Mecke in which Mecke acknowledged failing to register and disclose his activities as a campaign consultant in San Francisco in 2014 and 2015 and agreed to pay a $4,500 penalty for four counts of violating the City’s campaign consultant law.
As detailed in a Stipulation, Decision, and Order, the Commission assessed the penalty against Mecke for four counts in violation of San Francisco Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code section 1.510 for his work with the Yes on G campaign in 2014 and the Yes on F campaign in 2015.Two counts involved his failure to register as a campaign consultant and two counts involved his failure to disclose his consulting activity.
San Francisco voters added the regulation of campaign consultants to the San Francisco Campaign and Governmental Conduct Code in 1997, stating that the City and County of San Francisco has “a paramount interest in protecting the integrity and credibility of its electoral and government institutions.” Noting that candidates in San Francisco “frequently contract for the services of professional campaign consultants who specialize in guiding and managing campaigns,” voters determined that requiring campaign consultants to register and disclose “will assist the public in making informed decisions, and protect public confidence in the electoral and governmental processes.”
Under the San Francisco Charter, the Ethics Commission is authorized to assess administrative penalties of up to $5,000 per count, or three times the amount not properly reported. Violations of the law also may be resolved through a Stipulation, Decision, and Order in which a respondent acknowledges the violation and the respondent and Commission agree to settle and resolve all factual and legal issues in the matter without the need for administrative hearing.