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San Francisco Ethics Commission Final Audit Report: Protect SF, A Committee Supporting Safai for Supervisor 2016 and Sponsored by the San Francisco Fire Fighters, Local 798 and Progress San Francisco; FPPC ID #1390689


May 1, 2019

I. Introduction

This Audit Report summarizes the results of the audit of the committee, Protect SF, A Committee Supporting Safai for Supervisor 2016 and Sponsored by the San Francisco Fire Fighters, Local 798, and Progress San Francisco, FPPC Identification Number 1390689 (“the Committee”), for the period from January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2016. The Committee was selected using an objective criteria selection process, pursuant to the Commission’s authority under San Francisco Charter Section C3-699-11(4) and San Francisco Campaign and Governmental Code Section 2.135, from a pool of eligible committees active in elections during the 2016 calendar year. 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 for City elective office 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; and
  5. Compliance with all record-keeping requirements

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

On September 15, 2016, the Committee qualified as a primarily formed committee to support the election of Ahsha Safai as Supervisor in District 11 in connection with the November 2016 election.

The Committee had two sponsors: the San Francisco Fire Fighters Local 798 and Progress SF (FPPC ID # 1381519). Tom O’Connor, the president of SF Fire Fighters Local 798, served as the Committee’s principal officer and authorized all committee activities and expenditures and therefore SF Fire Fighters Local 798 was designated as a sponsor. Progress SF provided more than 80% of the total contributions received by the Committee and therefore was designated as a sponsor.

For the period covered by audit, Jesse Mainardi was the treasurer for the Committee and View Avenue Group, LLC maintained the Committee’s financial records and processed deposits of contributions received and disbursements of expenditures. The Committee received $656,250 in contributions (including non-monetary contributions of $11,500). The Committee incurred $656,016.66 in campaign expenditures (including non-monetary contributions of $11,500). The Committee was terminated on February 16, 2017.

V. Audit Findings

The Commission determined that there were no material findings with respect to the audit of the Committee.

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