tv Ethics Commission SFGTV August 30, 2021 12:00am-4:01am PDT
>> -- and the 12 supplement to the mayoral proclamation declaring the existence of a local emergency dated february 25, 2020, and before we proceed further, i'd like to ask the commission staff member, juana contreras, who is acting as the moderator today, to list some of the rules. >> clerk: thank you. the meeting room at city hall is closed. however, members of the commission will be participating in this meeting remotely. this is pursuant to the local,
federal, and state declarations and directives. please note that today's meeting is being live cable cast on sfgovtv and live streamed live on-line at sfgovtv.org/ethicslive. public comment will be allowed on each item on the agenda. members of the public will be allowed three minutes to speak. public comment may be made by calling 415-655-0001. access code is 146-623-9397, followed by the pound sign, and
then press pound again to join as an attendee. you will hear a beep when you are admitted. you will be on mute and in listening mode only. when your item of interest comes up, dial star, three to be added to the comment line. you will hear that you have raised your hand. make sure you are in a quiet location. before you speak, mute the sound of anything around you, including television, radio, or computer. it is especially important if you are watching the meeting via web link. as soon as you begin speaking, you will have three minutes to provide your public comment, six minutes if you are on-line with an interpreter. you will hear a bell go off
when you have 30 seconds remaining. if you have changed your mind and wish to withdraw yourself from the public comment line, you may press star, three again, and you will hear a comment that you have lowered your hand. attendees who wish to speak during other public comment period may stay on the line and listen for the next public comment opportunity and should raise their hand again by pressing star, three when their item of interest comes up. public comment may be submitted in writing and will be included in this committee file. i didn't know comments should be sent to email@example.com. thank you, madam chair. >> president lee: thank you, and with that, we will call the
meeting to order, and next, we'll proceed with agenda item number 1, which is roll call. >> clerk: commissioners, please unmute your microphones so you can verbally state your presence at roll call after your name is called. [roll call] >> clerk: madam chair, with four members present and accounted for, you have a quorum. >> president lee: thank you, moderator. before we proceed to agenda item number 2, as you know, chair ambrose had resigned from the position a few days ago. chair ambrose had served on this commission for three
years, and during this time, the city was hit with two very toxic viruses. while we have little control over the first one, we must confront the public virus that has shaken and eroded the public's trust. the chair has successfully guided this commission to focus on proactive and preventative initiatives to build a healthy and cleaner government so that we can earn back the public trust, so for that, we owe chair ambrose our deepest gratitude and we wish her nothing but the best in her future endeavors. is there any other commissioners that want to share their comments or
thoughts? commissioner bush? >> commissioner bush: i'd just like to underscore what you said and comment that she's brought legal skills from working with the city attorney and other commissions, and she also has a good handle on the values of the commission as it moves forward, and i think that we all owe her a debt of gratitude for her work. >> president lee: thank you, commissioner bush, and commissioner chiu? >> commissioner chiu: yes, thank you, chair lee. i'd like to associate myself with your remarks and with commissioner bush's remarks. chair ambrose took over in an extraordinary time, unprecedented time, and i think
she led with dignity in challenging circumstances and continued to welcome participation and tried to make our meetings at open and accessible as possible, notwithstanding the complication of phone calls and digital distance, and for that, i really want to thank her for her leadership and wish her all the best in her future endeavors. >> president lee: thank you, commissioner chiu. so with that, let's proceed to item 2, public comment on matters appearing or not appearing on the agenda today. moderator, can you check on any incoming call? >> clerk: please stand by.
thank you, madam chair. the ethics commission is now receiving public comment on item 2 in this meeting. each member of the public will have up to three minutes to provide public comment. if you joined the meeting earlier, now is the time to get in line to speak, and press star, three to go into the line to speak. one you are in the queue and standing by, the system will prompt you when it's your turn to speak, so please call from a quiet location. please address your comments to the commission as a whole and not to individual members. madam chair, we are currently checking the queue. we are currently having public comment on item 2, punl comment on matters appearing or not appearing on the agenda. you will have three minutes to
make public comment, and you will hear a chime when you have 30 seconds left. madam chair, please stand by. madam chair, we have callers in the queue. >> president lee: okay. >> clerk: one moment here. welcome, caller. your three minutes begins now. >> hi, commissioners. my name is judith reese, and i'm calling in today about item number 7, about jennifer stojkovic. i did some sunshine on my own and found that miss stojkovic had some communication with supervisor matt haney in may and june of this year, yet she
failed to disclose that on the san francisco logging roj roj -- registry page. i'm confused, and i don't know, because her being on the consent calendar is, like, a slap on the wrist. she's going back to what she was doing and not reporting stuff. i submitted a document to the clerk earlier this morning, and i will make sure to send it to the public comments area so you guys can take a look at it, about you it shows that she has several e-mails to the supervisor. she didn't report it on the lobbying registry website, and what they worked on actually ended up in a bill that matt haney has put forward, and so it's obviously lobbying stuff, yeah. and thank you guys for your
work. in this last year, you guys have been really consistent in looking at these scandals, and that reassures me as a citizen of this city. thank you. >> president lee: thank you, miss lee. next caller, please? >> clerk: okay. please stand by. welcome, caller. your three minutes begins now. >> good morning, commissioners, and thank you for your services. my name is ellen lee zhou, e-l-l-e-n l-e-e z-h-o-u, and i am representing the government
employees. i am here to request you, the ethics commissioners, reopen city hall, reopen your ethics commission so the public can have a chance to know what's going on. i am a member of revival san francisco. i'm here to remind you, our nation, our government, was founded by godly people, and that's why we have the united states constitution, and that's why that we are one nation under god, and in god we trust. for a government and the schools, public schools, pushing people away and brain wash our children has nothing that's going to be good for san francisco. i have been coming to ethics commission with many other government employees back in
2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020. the last time i spoke to your commission in person at city hall, february 21, 2020, and after that, the san francisco city hall has been running a government for self-interest. there's no public interest whatsoever. the last time i spoke to you was last month, july 21, 2021. i told you there's a lot of corruption inside san francisco city hall. many of the elected officials relate to communism. that is why that we the people have been violated by the elected officials.
emergency order is only good held for 60 days, march 2020 to may 2020. as of now, there's no valid emergency order, and you can see that many of the people that love god and love our country file lawsuits against california. we don't want a dictatorship government, and that's -- >> clerk: your three minutes have expired. >> well, but right now, you guys not doing your job by closing your office. it has to be open to the public. the public has no more emergency. our government -- >> clerk: i'm sorry. your three minutes were up, caller. did you want to give her a little more extra time?
okay. madam chair, we have other callers in the queue. >> president lee: okay. next caller, please. >> clerk: please stand by. welcome, caller. your three minutes begins now. >> good morning, commissioners. i'm calling in today because i was just listening to the ethics commission for the day, and i heard this item about judith lee about jennifer, on item 7, and i just think that it should definitely be severed from the consent calendar, because i think it's important that you really take a close look at it and just send in that packet to the clerk, so i
just think it would be really important that you sever it today, and i appreciate all your work. thank you. >> president lee: thank you. >> clerk: okay. please stand by. we have other callers in the queue. welcome, caller. your three minutes begins now. >> thank you very much. this is anonymous. good morning. first, this commission should investigate the interactions between walter wong, london breed, her campaign and city staff and the shanghai sister city committee regarding records for the 2021 chinese new year parade floats. second, the mitigating factor identified by staff for london breed should be given little if
any weight. your staff said regarding the unlawful gift from a subordinate, in litigation, breed reported the gift, however, that was only after mohamed nuru was arrested, and your staff said, further, breed had no further violations of the city's campaign violation finance laws, and this incident appears to have been an isolated incident. however, this was only brought to light after another individual was arrested and these items were brought to light. in addition [inaudible] and the use of other city services and breed has, in fact, asked agencies to assist [inaudible] when he asks for it, and i have provided documentation to you
about that, as well. breed has been found to have personally committed three violations of san francisco sunshine, all involving breed conducting public business in secret by failing to disclose various information about her meetings and calendars as required by law. and for all of those reasons, you should increase the fine that london breed has to pay. now your new chair talked about how this commission is fighting corruption. you cannot do that if you completely ignore the sunshine ordinance, which apparently this commission or, more importantly, its staff does. you never investigate these violations, whereas the other commission, the sunshine task
force, does and reports them, and this commission does absolutely nothing about them. you need to fix that. thank you. >> clerk: thank you, caller. all right. let me just do one more check, madam chair. okay. madam chair, please stand by. madam chair, there are no more callers in the queue. >> president lee: okay. thank you. now we're on agenda item number 3, which is on the consent calendar. do i have a motion -- or any
additional comments? otherwise, do i have a motion to approve the consent calendar? >> commissioner chiu: so moved. >> president lee: do i have a second? >> second. >> president lee: roll call, please. >> commissioner chiu: do we need public comment on item number 3? >> president lee: oh, public comment. my apologies. public comment, please. >> i'm sorry for interrupting, chair lee and mr. contreras, but i just want to clarify for the benefit of the commission and the public, when you hear items on a consent calendar, you hear all of them collectively, so actually, before you are items 3 through 8, and so, i just want to
clarify that the motion was to approve all of the items together and that public comment will be on all of those items collectively. >> president lee: okay. can we take out the brat minutes first and approve those separately and then take the rest of the consent calendar? >> yes. you have the ability to take those separately. >> president lee: okay. i'm going to call out the draft minutes of the july 9 commission meeting, and if we don't have any comments from the commissioners, let's open up for public comment. >> clerk: okay. please stand by. okay. thank you, madam chair. the other members are resuming
public comment on item number 3. you will have three minutes to make public comment. you will hear a bell when you have 30 seconds remaining. if you just joined the proceedings, now is the time to get on the line to speak. if you have not already, press star, three. it is important you press star, three once as pressing it another time will move you out of the queue and back into listening mode. it's important that you call from a quiet location. please address your comments to the commission as a whole and not to individual members. if you have not already done so, please press star, three to enter the queue and wait until your line indicates you have been unmuted. if you just joined this meeting, this is public comment
on item 3, and please press star, three to enter the queue. madam chair, we have callers in the queue. welcome, caller. your three minutes begins now. >> >> hi. i didn't raise my hand -- >> clerk: well, it showed your hand was still raised. >> so i need to lower my hand. >> clerk: yes. thank you so much. okay. please stand by. we have another caller in the queue. welcome, caller. your three minutes begins now. caller, you had your hand raised earlier for the first
public comment. we are still on item number 3. did you still want to comment on this? okay. looks like he lowered his hand. okay. we are still waiting to see if there are any other callers. please stand by. madam chair, there are no other callers in the queue. >> president lee: okay. so can i have a motion to approve the draft minutes? >> so moved. >> commissioner chiu: i'll second. >> president lee: moved by commissioner bell, seconded by commissioner chiu. roll call, please. >> commissioner bush: motion was by commissioner bush, for the record. >> president lee: my apologies.
>> clerk: a motion has been made and seconded. i will now call the roll. [roll call] >> clerk: with four votes in the affirmative and zero in opposition, the motion is approved unanimously. >> president lee: okay. now we will move to agenda items 4 through 8. item 4, in the matter of norman yee for supervisor 2016, norman yee, and lisa le, sfec complaint number 1617-020. proposed streamlined
transcription, decision, and order in the matter of eamonn herlihy and richard hart, sfec complaint number 1819-026-1920-035, agenda item number 6, in the matter of john dennis for supervisor 2018, john dennis, and kelley lawler. item number 7, in the matter of jennifer stojkovic, and will in the matter of yes on proposition v and rebecca
i was just wondering if you could sever item 7. yeah, i just think there needs to be more of a discussion around that, and i'd really appreciate if you could sever it. thank you, and that's all. >> clerk: thank you. >> president lee: thank you. >> clerk: okay. please stand by. welcome, caller. your three minutes begins now. >> hi, good morning. i also called in earlier, and i'm following up on judith's request to sever item 7, and i just want to confirm that it's being severed. thank you. >> clerk: thank you, caller. please stand by.
good morning, caller. your three minutes begins now. >> commissioners, let me tell you, for those of us watching on tv, we did not have the information to call in. the only way you can get it is by going to the internet and getting the agenda item, and that's how i got it. the people who want to call in, the number is not being shown on the screen, and i'm bringing this to your information. so i'm calling in to inform you how this could be corrected.
the gentleman that was facilitating this meeting keeps saying press star, three, but we don't have the number, and we don't have the i.d. code, so correct that as soon as possible. thank you very much. >> clerk: thank you, caller. it looks like -- okay, madam chair. there are no -- there are no -- there's no more callers in the queue. >> president lee: first, i want -- these are really challenging times to hold remote meetings, and on behalf of the commission, i want to thank them for their patience, and we will definitely look into ways to make it easier for the folks to access and to
participate fully in these meetings. in light of the comments and suggestions on the items, i wonder if there's any interest to address the agenda item number 7 or if staff has anything to add or to clarify to the public? >> chair -- chair lee, if i may interject just briefly and make a suggestion on how to move forward? >> president lee: okay. >> so i think that the public had no interest on offering public koomt on -- public
comment on any other item but item 7, so we can take care of the other ones, come back to item 7, invite the commission to speak about item 7 if they wish to do so and see if there's any public comment or per the resolution of that matter. >> president lee: okay. thank you for that, assistant city attorney. so why don't we entertain a moment to approve items on the consent calendar 4, 5, 6, and 8. >> commissioner bush: so moved. >> commissioner chiu: second. >> president lee: so moved by commissioner bush, seconded by commissioner chiu. roll call, please. >> clerk: a motion has been made and seconded -- i'm sorry. it looks like we -- please
stand by. it looks like we had a last submission. please stand by. a motion has been made and seconded. i'll now call the roll. [roll call] >> clerk: with four votes in the affirmative and zero votes no, the motion is approved unanimously. >> president lee: so now, let's go back to agenda item number 7? is there any discussion? i can tell you that [inaudible]
further administrative enforcement, and under our streamlined program, [inaudible] and ineligible for that future matter to be resolved in the streamlined program, so if the allegations that we have heard today, they're approved, then that would be a separate enforcement matter and may be ineligible in the future for the streamlined program. [inaudible]. >> president lee: commissioner chiu, you had your hand up? >> commissioner chiu: yes, thank you, chair lee. i have a few questions, but i'm hoping that mr. willet can
clarify. there's several reports that you need to amend, so is this the reports that were filed and did not contain the complete disclosure that was necessary? >> original file did not contain the required reporting, and they have since been amended prior to taking corrective action, and the matter has been resolved with the stipulated agreement. >> commissioner chiu: these reports cover a period of almost 3.5 years, and do you have a sense of the number of contacts that were disclosed in these 22 reports -- amended
reports? >> yes. the predominant liability here was a failure to report a portion of her salary that she received from s.f. city to make such contacts, so in all by one instance, she had failed to report her salary, so there's been 40 over the time that she's been qualified. >> commissioner chiu: so the bulk of the violations were a failure to report her payment, not the contact itself? >> correct. that's why the penalty here,
which is pegged to the salary received is $931, and then, a salary [inaudible] from her employer, s.f. city. >> commissioner chiu: so i'm going to ask a broader question here. when somebody qualifies as a lobbyist, what kind of training or information or resores do they have so that they know what their obligations are as a lobbyist going forward? >> sure. there is training that the lobbyist can receive, and our website also has an abundance of resources available through the lobbyists, as well as a commission staffer who administers the lobbyist program. john kim is his name, and he's very proactive about engaging with the lobbyist community in san francisco.
>> commissioner chiu: okay. and then -- so presumably, the contacts that were disclosed -- sorry. you answered that question. i note that these -- the first violations, number 22 here, is january 2018, so that's about 3.5 years ago. like, when did this come to the commission's attention as a matter of investigation? >> i can't speak to an investigative record. i can only speak to the information contained in the stipulated agreement because that is an agreement between staff and the respondent. i can say that the liability in this stipulated agreement is a prior liability that staff has
pursued and sought resolution to. >> commissioner chiu: okay. thank you. >> president lee: thank you, commissioner chiu. commissioner bush, you had your hand up? >> commissioner bush: yes. i was muted there for a minute. i understood one of the callers say there was a failure to disclose the contacts in may of 2021. isn't that a period that's also covered in this stipulation? >> that's correct, and she reported contact with board president walton, and she has since amended her statement to
[inaudible] and that would be an additional enforcement matter, and the existence of this streamlined resolution before the commission may necessitate any provisions of law. >> did the staff interview this person in person? >> again, the investigative record is confidential, and i can only speak to the information contained here in this. >> i'm concerned. is there a concern that the commission would not know if
there's an interview that took place? >> the investigative record. >> commissioner bush: yeah, sorry. >> that's correct, commissioner bush. we would consider the scope and method and substance and conduct of the investigation to remain confidential. >> that seems kind of remarkable to me, that the commission would not know what was involved in something like this. was that a part of our regulations? where does that come from? >> well, it's in the charter that we conduct investigations
confidentially, but more to the point would be that the pay that the charter regulations instructed a division of labor within the commission, so that the staff represent the prosecutorial arm of the commission, and the commission represents effectively the judge, and so, the commission can't participate in investigations, and when staff presence a proposed resolution, what we put as a senior investigator, what we put before the commission is a negotiated document, and so generally, we find that what's in the document has to speak for itself. we can't go beyond those four corners, so i understand it may
between those that we need to fully investigate, or should we just go back and adopt the final proposed stipulation based on your investigation? so what's the difference between approving things now or tabling everything, do the investigation, and amend -- or to reflect that on the stipulation of the commission, so what is the difference?
does that mean if we approve it today, she's going to have a clean bill of health, she's going to continue to do, you know, her professional work? what's at stake right now? because based on that new information, i'm not comfortable approving this until the staff can come back with more clear information for us to consider. >> thank you, chair -- sorry, go ahead. >> no, i was going to defer to you, the director of enforcement. >> well, thank you for the question, chair lee. if i could try to offer kind of a broad response that might the concerns that both you and
others have. i think it would be that if you declined to approve this situation as approved, we likely would no longer treat it under the streamlined program, we would kick it over to the main line program because what the commission envisioned was a fuller mode of consideration there are reasons why conduct wouldn't be handled under neath
this. i think more broadly, if the commission wants additional information about the facts, if the commission wants more information about what staff did or did not investigate, this is not the venue for that conversation. the venue for that conversation would be administrative proceeding, so staff would have to have greater access. finally, my guess is the bond oversight committee had powers to investigate bond compliance but maybe lacked powers to impose penalties, and that is a unique feature of this division of labor.
it imposes specific due process considerations that staff have to adhere to. because you have remedial powers, penalty powers, you may not in this context get to hear as many of the facts or review the investigative record as you would the same way in other circumstances, but you could in a different context, which would be a hearing on the merit. >> president lee: commissioner bush? >> commissioner bush: just to clarify, the oversight authority has the ability to stop the sale of bonds if we found there was something untoward in the way that was being done, so that's a pretty strong authority given to the committee to act in a penalty way. >> president lee: commissioner bell, your hand's up? >> commissioner bell: my hand went up after commissioner chiu, so i'll defer to her?
>> commissioner chiu: oh, so thank you, commissioner bell. there's a range of penalties and signs right now under the streamlines program. can you tell us what, under the regular program, what the fines would otherwise be for the multiple c.j. violations? i'm concerned about the allegations that surfaced in public comment and the extensive number of contacts that were made without disclosure, and i would like to know what the consequences are for such a long, 3.5 year stream of failure to disclose
violations would result in? >> sure, i can field that question. commissioner chiu, under the main lines program, pursuant to the charter, the ultimate penalty is $5,000 per violation or three times the amount of payment miss stojkovic received or double the damages? >> commissioner chiu: do we have that number? >> i wouldn't be able to do the math on the fly, no. >> commissioner chiu: okay. in any event, it would be significantly greater than what's proposed here, the maximum liability? [inaudible]. >> commissioner chiu: thank you.
>> president lee: commissioner bell? >> commissioner bell: thank you, chair lee. so i would like the director of enforcement to weigh-in on this. what i'm feeling is this notion that we're asked to deliberate on something but not have a level of information that we think gives us the ability to deliberate on it, and then, if there are new charges, that we kind of want to send it back, so i want to have you respond to this. so i am not interested in substituting the staff's judgment with mine unless i have some sense of the facts. but then, you say that the procedures are that we can't give you a level of facts. so i'm just wondering, is there a way that we can hear a
rationale for how you came to the decisions rather than this interviewee said this, and this person said that, and we don't want to -- well, i'll speak for myself. i don't want to step into that terrain because your staff are trained for a reason, and so we don't just want a rubber stamp. so there has to be a balance between respecting the staff's abilities and skills and also hearing what you use to come to those judgments so that if we are going to try to substitute -- or not substitute, but weigh-in based on our own public abilities and what the public says, that we have something to weigh.
hear a little bit more balance of the rationale if possible so that we have something a little more to go on well, i did that, but something in my gut said to do that, versus something else caused me to go one way or another. >> president lee: okay. thank you, commissioner. >> commissioner bell: so that was a question to -- [inaudible]. >> commissioner bell: that was a question and a soliloquy. >> thank you, commissioner bell, and i appreciate the quandary that you find yourself in. i'm also aware that deputy city attorney shen is on-line, which means i think he wants to add something. >> yes. commissioner bell, i want to highlight, i think we're sort
of segueing away from the matter into a more general sort of discussion, which we can have, certainly, at a later date. i certainly understand the desire of the commissioners to not be a rubber stamp for what's presented at these meetings, and making sure that there's a respective balance of roles and how we can respect due process if you don't mind, you know, i can certainly get before the next meeting or a future meeting, i'd really appreciate you talking to some of my colleagues in the city attorney's office and we can come up with some options about how to push the issue in the future. that's what i would suggest. >> commissioner bell: okay. but for right now, we're dealing with the hand we were
dealt with on this subject matter, on item number 7. >> yes. certainly, i don't want to get ahead of the discussion, but maybe there is an item that would be continued. and i would also just note as a matter of procedure, that we would want to invite public comment, as well. >> commissioner bell: okay. i appreciate that, and it was a general question that came to me as we were trying to apply it to item number 7, so i appreciate what you said, and we can move on. >> and they're certainly very important questions that we can move into at a later date. thank you. >> so the brief answer to commissioner bell's question is that we implemented, we followed the program, but i think what we might do here is staff will elect to withdraw the proposal as of today, and either we will bring it back at
a subsequent meeting or bring back a different proposal, depending on whatever staff determines, so i think if the chair is ready, we can make room for public comment. >> president lee: okay. do we need public comment? i think we do, so let's open up the public comment. the recommendation is to table the item and bring it back to commission at the next meeting because this has been going on for, like, three-plus years, so i think we really need to close the book on this one way or another, so do we have the staff's availability to make
this a priority, that you will come back with a new proposal for the september meeting? >> we will hope to do that, chair. >> president lee: okay. and can we have public comment? >> clerk: the ethics commission is now receiving public comment on item number 7 remotely in this meeting. each member of the public will have three minutes to make public comment. you will hear a bell when you have 30 seconds remaining. if you have not already, please press star, three. it is important that you press star, three only once as pressing it again will move you out of the comment line and back into listening mode. once you are in line, the
system will prompt you when it's your turn to speak. please address your comments to the commission as a whole and not to individual members. madam chair, we are checking the queue. if you have just joined this meeting, we are currently taking public comment on consent calendar item number 7, proposed streamlined stipulation, decision, and order in the matter of jennifer stojkovic, sfec complaint number 1920-011. if you have not already done so, please press star, three to enter the queue. madam chair, we have callers in the queue. hello, caller. your three minutes begins now. >> hello, commissioners.
i brought it to your attention that the public needs to know the number: 415-655-0001, and the i.d. number is 146-625-9397, and then, you press the pound sign, and then, you press the pound sign again, and then, you enter the queue. now what is it that the moderator doesn't understand. you are just telling people press star, three, but they don't know about the number. and you know, what is happening is this is the ethics commission. under the brown act, you have to make it easy for the people to participate in the deliberations. but you all don't seem to get your act together.
i told you very kindly that the number is not being run on the screen. the only way to get it is to go on the internet and get it, but most people cannot get it, so i'm bringing to your attention somebody needs to fix it as soon as possible because if there is no public comment, and the ability is not given to the public to participate, the item is null and void. thank you very much. >> clerk: okay. please stand by. >> president lee: so moderator, i have a quick question. on my file, the call-in numbers are already included. >> clerk: yes. i'll repeat it, public comment will be available on each item
of this agenda, and each member of the public will be allowed three minutes to speak for comments. we've already provided the telephone number and the access code at the beginning of the meeting. all right. we do have other callers in the queue. please stand by. and we did get confirmation that the number and the access code is going to be displayed on sfgovtv, and it has been completed on their end -- they did apologize, that that is on their end. thank you, sfgovtv. we do appreciate you very much. all right. welcome, caller. your three minutes begins now. >> thank you very much. anonymous again. i don't know either of the parties in this case, but i think the comments of commissioner bell are very
important. since this is a stipulated agreement, why don't staff and the respondent here just stipulate to add more detail so that when this comes back, you can make that judgment. even if you're not allowed to know things in this stipulated process, why don't the parties just add more detail into the stipulation? thank you. >> president lee: thank you. >> clerk: okay. please stand by. >> caller, your three minutes begins now. >> good morning, commissioners. again, i appreciate you severing item number 7 and hearing your comments on the matter and understand your concerns on this because i have the same concerns on this, as well. i would just like the commission to conduct a full
investigation given the information raised by the previous caller. i think that miss stojkovic has been using s.f. city to hide information from tech companies around san francisco, and i think it's your job to fully investigate and do your job as the ethics commission. thank you. >> clerk: okay. please stand by. madam chair, we have no more callers in the queue. >> president lee: okay. let's proceed to regular agenda items. let's proceed to item number 9, proposed stipulation, decision, and order in the matter of london breed, sfec complaint
number 1920-072. >> thank you, presidentially. i'm going to ask jeff sumwa, whose job it was to investigate this complaint. >> good morning, commissioners. jeff sumwa. the commission has the option or can discuss this publicly and then can vote by majority to approve the stipulation. if it does not vote to approve the stipulation, we just ask that it provide feedback to us and not explain what was just discussed in the last discussion, limited to discussing what's within the
document. >> president lee: commissioner bush, you had your hand up? or should we open it up to public comment first? commissioner bush? >> commissioner bush: whatever is up to you, chair lee? >> i believe it's up to the commission, but i believe the commission holds discussion and then a motion is entertained, and after the motion is seconded, the commission hears public comment, but you're welcome to do it in whatever order works for you. >> president lee: i see the deputy city attorney shen camera on. >> yeah, so just very briefly, chair lee, so jeff is correct that you do have some flexibility in how you want to proceed with each item. i would say on this particular item, it would be helpful for the public to hear from the
commissioners and their sort of concerns and questions before they weigh-in, as well. just a suggest. thank you. >> president lee: commissioner bush, you had your hand up? >> commissioner bush: i did. thank you, chair lee. as i read what was submitted to us, it states that mayor breed's brought this issue of a potential violation to the attention of the commission but as i recall, the fact that there was payments in the [inaudible], it was actually in the newspapers before all this. is that true?
>> can you point to where it was brought to our attention before our investigation? >> commissioner bush: i can't -- >> well, we can't explain where it came from, just what's reflected here in the documents. >> commissioner bush: i suppose the broader question i have is does this issue -- well, if you can't comment -- it's an awkward situation. my recollection is that this issue surfaced first in the media, and it did so at least a year earlier than anything we've seen, whether that's because we're going through a
period when we were shutdown most of the year, but i'm just trying to figure out whether or not this was something voluntarily brought by the mayor or whether it surfaced because it had been brought out as an issue. also, it's my understanding that the under writing for the float came from someone who's a city contractor, and i'm not sure that's referenced as an issue here, and that it also would have been underwritten in part by a corporation, john constantine, and it would have been prohibited for a corporation to make contributions. so can you comment to that? >> so on the first part, i cannot comment on what the source to the allegations would have been.
on the second, we would have investigated this for any violations of law, and anything that any party agreed to would have been included in the stipulation. >> commissioner bush: based on what we just went through on item 7, it's my understanding that you cannot inform the commission on whether you had a personal meeting with the mayor over these -- these findings and the penalties? >> i can only speak to the facts that are in the stipulation. >> commissioner bush: and is there a reason that that would not be in the stipulation? >> it's an agreed fact between the commission and the respondent. >> commissioner bush: i have to say, i'm not comfortable not
knowing whether the mayor took personal responsibility for any violation and made a personal commitment regarding how things will move forward in the future. >> i will say that it was agreed upon, so it was agreed to that there were four violations of the law that she agreed to in the stipulation. >> commissioner bush: as i understand the process, though, her agreement is just affixing an internet signature. it does not involve necessarily an actual discussion and an actual paper unless you have put it in the stipulation. is that correct? >> it agrees to adhere to the law as well as pay the monetary penalty attached to it.
>> and is that penalty paid for from her personal funds and is not eligible to be paid out of campaign or election funds? >> i don't believe it's been paid yet, so i don't know how it's paid. >> i apologize for jumping in. one is as senior investigator wong has indicated, the stipulation included language to which the respondent has agreed, and if the commission has an additional opportunity to review not only the exhibit but the -- but the front -- the front piece of the stipulation, what we typically refer to as the boiler plate, the paragraph that refers to the process, the respondent does, in the boiler plate, acknowledge the violations and take responsibility for the violations. secondly, the respondent can
pay the penalty using any lawful means available to her. my understanding, based on representation, that in this matter, the respondent may attend to pay personally, but it's my understanding that the respondent can use any campaign money. >> commissioner bush: but the stipulation could have said she would pay for it out of her personal funds, right? >> it's not the practice of the commission to amend the boiler plate. >> commissioner bush: but that doesn't mean that you're precluded from doing so, is that correct? >> as a matter of practice, we do not amend the boiler plate? >> president lee: if i could jump in, if i could ask the city attorney, that the
commission has the authority to direct us how they would make their penalty payments? is it within the purview? >> good morning, chair lee. so actually, on the subject, i can't quite tell, and maybe justin could sort of clarify whether mayor breed has any representatives at today's meeting that could speak to perhaps commissioner bush's questions or other questions? maybe they're better placed to answer those questions. >> yeah, thank you, deputy city attorney shen. at one time this morning, the mayor's city representative was on the attendee list. don't see his name there now,
but he may be there under a different name. >> and i would just say that the mayor's representative may be better positioned to speak to that than us. >> commissioner bush: if i may just add something to this conversation, i would like to acknowledge that the mayor has directed her staff to take this same ethics training that is required of commissioners and department heads. for herself, that's not a requirement, but she has gone beyond what the requirements are to expand the filings by her staff to recognize what are the ethics rules, and it's my
understanding that they would not be adverse to right lane those files, including statements of economic interest filed -- adverse to having those files, including statements of economic interest filed, so the public could have an opportunity to see -- like right now, you can't see what the chief of financial staff's interests are. my questions are not designed to be a gotcha, they are designed to help understand how
this process works and how we came to be where we are on it now. thank you. >> president lee: thank you, commissioner bush. commissioner chiu? >> commissioner chiu: thank you, chair lee. i have a question for our enforcement staff, and this intersects with our enforcement staff and clarity about the rules that apply to gifts in san francisco. there are the state rules that are in place but that can be more restrictive than the straight rules. i understand that the
definition under san francisco rules of law defers to state law. so i think with regard to -- i think it's count 2, the gift of car repairs, what was the legal rule with regard to filing? did she have to file pursuit to san francisco local rules or state law and what were the rules regarding disclosure, if any? >> sure. so under the city law, it's prohibited to receive a gift from a subordinate, so that would just be a prohibited gift that would not -- she would not have been allowed to have accepted, so they're -- since the gift was prohibited, she shouldn't have even accepted
it, so i don't know if there would have been any reporting requirement since the gift shouldn't have been accepted in the first place. >> commissioner chiu: thank you. and then, the filing in september 2019 regarding the definition, is that -- is that active and accurate interpretation? is that applicable in this case at all or is there a conflict between the two laws? >> i think that might be more of a policy question. i think that might be addressed in the next agenda item. this was just specifically the city's prohibition on receiving a gift from a subordinate. >> commissioner chiu: and then, we have the financial amount of
the four counts. is that the maximum for each count or are these negotiated amounts? >> so as to count 1, that was the statutory maximum. counts 2, 3, and 4 were not, but they were the negotiated amounts based on what the charter allows us to impose. >> commissioner chiu: and then, my next question is about the information on the investigation that we can seek to elicit in this setting.
can you talk about how you came to the amounts? >> those decisions were made in consultation with investigators and respondent and respondent's council. >> i can also add, just quickly, we did review analogous cases, kind of the standard thing that we will do, look at severity of the activity, so there is a process
that we get into for that. >> commissioner chiu: [inaudible] it was six years ago -- it was over six years ago, and this was her committee to run for supervisor for 2012. that was, like, nine years ago, and i just think it's incumbent upon the commission to be timely and expeditious in their investigation because it's attenuated and comes before us, and i would like to have known that before it came before us and now, we have processes in
place that we don't have to wait six years to resolve a violation. mr. pierce, i would love to hear a little bit more about how we came -- staff came to these dollar amounts. >> president lee: if i could interject, in the items, there's seven priorities that you considered in determining the penalty, so could you go over those seven priorities that you went over in determining the amount?
>> sure. the particular considerations that staff used or that respondent and their counsel might have used to reach that agreement remain confidential as settlement communications. the seven factors that you've identified, chair lee, are identified in our regulations, so they are considerations that we apply in every instance, whether in a settlement or a hearing on the merits. in factor seven, i'll clarify that the respondent's ability to pay really goes to considerations that the commission has brought to us
historically in the context of the number of accounts that were -- that are lingering at the department's [inaudible] penalties. we don't, as a matter of course, wish to assess penalties that are impossible to collect. >> president lee: thank you for the explanation. commissioner bush, your hand is up? >> commissioner bush: thank you. thank you, chair lee. if i understood, that sounds like a little bit at odds. if the penalty can be paid from any legal source of funding, then it wouldn't matter if they can afford to pay it or not because they could pay it from a campaign committee or a
nonprofit. let's say it could be paid from the sister city committee or something like that. the ability or reference to pay is not really tied to the financial capacity of the person who's facing the penalty, is that right? >> well, i want to channel deputy city attorney shen here and make sure we follow the item and not have a broader position of how the department arrives at a penalty. but i'll say that the respondent can payout of any lawful source, and i'll say that there are instances in which a respondent is positioned only to pay the penalty out of private funds because that's the only lawful fund available to that
respondent. >> commissioner bush: what would be an example of that? >> commissioner bush, i don't know if we want to run as far afield -- i'm seeing deputy city shen arriving again. >> yeah, jeff. i just think it would be better to advance this discussion. if we could check to see if the mayor's representative is on the line. i don't see his name on the list of attendees, but maybe he has called in. ronald, could you ask someone to raise their hand if they're calling in on behalf of the mayor? >> clerk: it looks like we have three callers in the queue --
>> i'm going to reach out to respondent's counsel and get back to you. >> yeah. if you are not here on behalf of the mayor or are the mayor's legal representative, if you can put your hand down. you still will have the opportunity in offering public comment, of course, but we are interested to see if the mayor's representative is on the line to speak on the issue. >> clerk: hello, caller. are you a mayor's representative? >> yes, i am.
thank you hear me? >> yes. >> good morning, commissioners. my name is tom lewis, and i represent the mayor. i apologize, i've been in the webex and literally, when this item called, my internet went down. if i could, just make one or two brief comments. first, i want to say on behalf of the mayor, she has acknowledged her mistakes that have listed in this settlement, and she takes responsibility and has taken responsibility for them, and that is what she said in her public comments about this. she said, also, at that time that she had learned a lot in these events and that she believes she will be a better
public servant for it. to commissioner bush's comments and others, the ethics commission plays an important function in upholding these laws and applying them to everyone. these fines are significant and are more significant in some respects than in other -- for other activity in the past that the commission has assessed, so they are significant, just to respond to that. i do request, on behalf of the mayor, to respectfully approve this proposal and reiterate that she has taken full responsibility to this, not only to mr. pierce's point in the stipulation, which requires her to say that, but she has said that, you know, publicly, to -- to the broad public.
so with that in mind, i think there was a question about -- and you can still hear me, correct? >> president lee: mm-hmm, yes. >> i don't have a answer on how the mayor will pay for this. i think, as jeff pierce mentioned, in the past, i think, you know office holders used personal accounts, but i don't know how the mayor is going to proceed. the goal here was to, you know, obviously, agree to this and move forward and see if the commission would approve it. and i don't know if there was another question, but i'm happy to respond to any questions.
>> president lee: i think that was the inquiry, and as the deputy city attorney said, the funds would have to be legal. >> correct. >> president lee: from a legal source. >> correct. >> president lee: okay. >> i can't think of an instance where a -- kind of a third party nonprofit could pay for that, but again, i'm -- it would be -- just i can't -- i can't think of a situation where that would fly. >> president lee: okay. commissioner bush, your hand is still up -- okay.
>> commissioner bush: my apologies. i'll take it down. >> president lee: okay. if we don't have any further questions for the mayor's representative, we'll go to move comment. >> commissioner bell: i was trying to move my mouse quick enough to get my hand up. i was wondering, sir, if you could speak to this opportunity for the mayor's opportunity to this commission to use this process, whether folks think that it is severe enough or not severe enough or that she has or not taken personal responsibility. i'm just wondering if you are in a position to speak to the ability or the opportunity for the ethics commission to use this situation, this event, as
a way to more broadly strengthen and utilize our orientation total city employees and others in like minded positions about the authority and respect of their positions. i don't know if you can answer it directly, but i think it's something that the mayor, with the bully pulpit, may be able to say i didn't know, i made a make, but others can use that bully pulpit to raise awareness about issues that this commission often has to enforce. >> yes. am i on? >> president lee: yes. >> clerk: yes, you are. >> thank you.
yes, i think that's a very good point. i just want to point out here and be careful because i represent the mayor in her personal capacity, obviously, not in her mayoral capacity, so i think that you're talking, something about using her, you know, official position to encourage city employees to take additional training, so i hear the statement, but i want to be careful not to speak to the mayor in her official capacity. >> commissioner bell: i'm sorry. >> but leaving that aside, i think it's a very good question. she thought it was very important to state publicly that she took responsibility for this, and that she standup and state that, and state the,
you know, importance of the ethics commission's duties, which she has done not just in signing this stipulation but in her public comments specifically but in how she publicly speaks to this. >> commissioner bell: okay. thank you. >> president lee: okay. i'll open it up to public comment. >> chair lee? >> president lee: i'm sorry. >> no, i was waiting on the hand. before we move to public comment, i would just like to move to approve the -- make a motion to approve the
stipulation as presented to us by staff. >> second. >> president lee: public comment? >> president lee: madam chair, we are waiting to see if there are public in the queue. for those of you just joining the meeting, we are hearing item 9, proposed stipulation, decision, and order in the matter of london breed, sfec complaint number 1920-072. madam chair, we have callers in the queue. welcome, caller. your three minutes begins now.
>> so commissioners, i've been listening intently to this deliberation. i wanted to mention early on, but i couldn't, that attorney ambrose, i've known her for many years, is somebody that could have shed light on this discussion in a better way. what i see here is we have a mayor that's made statements in a manner that is nonchalant. in other words, what the mayor has been saying is that she wasn't fully aware of the
action, but now that she is aware of them, she is sorry, and she will not repeat them. but you commissioners have to do a needs assessment, and it begins with the salary of the mayor, which in the middle of the pandemic was increased to 400,000. find out if that is the right figure, 400,000. as far as we know, from reading in the newspaper, the cap on the stipulation is 23,000. so why all the fuss? if i'm making 400,000, i can easily pay 23,000.
there's no reason for me to go begging anybody to cover up or pay my fees or the fine or the stipulation or whatever the gentleman has been saying. in the past, this gentleman, the investigator have been -- you know, he wants to stick to what he wants to reveal. but the public knows more than the ethics commission, and we are very glad that we have mr. larry bush who is asking the right question so that we have a process. and one of the most important questions of the process is whenever we are discussing something like this, somebody has to be there, like the mayor's representative, who
gives an excuse that his internet went down or i don't know what. >> clerk: thank you, caller. your three minutes has expired. please stand by. thank you, caller. your three minutes begins now. >> thank you very much. good morning again. this is anonymous once more. so i'd like to point you to paragraph seven of the penalty assessment. in paragraph seven of the penalty assessment, it says, quote, in mitigation, breed voluntarily reported the gift and that's referring to the knew rou gift regarding the car break -- nuru gift regarding the car breakdown. and on that, staff stipulates
to an $8,292 penalty. i don't think that you should accept that this, quote, mitigating factor is a mitigating factor. she reported the gift after the person giving the gift was arrested by the f.b.i., and she denied in that public post on her media page, and that should not be a mitigating factor, so just on this very detailed document, you should increase the count 4 multiplicative factor to something else. the fact that these other people -- it looks like you're already using the three factor for some of these other counts, but on this count, the factor 1.5 does not make sense.
these people, other people that have already been arrested, have asked for additional favors, and london breed has provided those, and i have provided those. and finally, you should investigate the london breed walter wong 2019 parade float and how that affected the election committee. >> clerk: okay. somebody else has his hand up. tom, you had your hand up. did you want to make any other comment? >> oh, i'm sorry. i didn't mean to have my hand up. >> clerk: okay.
just to clarify. madam chair, there are no other callers in the queue. >> president lee: okay. i'll close public comment on agenda item number 9. i have a motion to approve made by commissioner chiu, seconded by commissioner bell. any further discussion? >> commissioner bush: i'm not sure what the protocol is on this, but i would like xz inned probable cause' can be is this to -- i would like, in the process of considering this, that the mayor and staff have ethics training, and to welcome her taking a further step of having that posted publicly through the ethics page as one part of what commissioner bell
is saying, as a part of training example to city officials. i'm not sure if that can be attended in some way. it's not part of the stipulation, i understand that. but can it go as a letter with our finding or, in some other way, go on the public page that she has taken that step? >> president lee: we can have the settlement amended, or the deputy city attorney -- >> chair lee, if you don't mind, i'm not sure what the proposal is on the table and it's probably different from the stipulation at the end, so we probably do want to call the roll on commissioner chiu's
motion? honestly, it sounds like, commissioner bush, you are bringing up an item that may want to be heard at a future meeting. >> commissioner bush: i think if we separate it to another meeting, it loses its heft since this is about compliance with ethics laws, and as she's stated, she's become more aware of it and taking steps to make sure her staff is more aware of it. as we're aware of it, one of her staff is already being prosecuted for failing to comply with ethics laws, so i think slow walking it to another meeting is not the answer.
>> president lee: can i make a motion -- proposal? to approve the motion that is on the table, and in response to commissioner bush's comment to highlight the mayor's directive to her own staff, maybe there's something that the staff can do separately that would not require commission action because it's not on the agenda item. so can we just vote on the motion on the table first? and then, we can hear director pelham on your recommendation. commissioner bush, is that agreeable to you? >> commissioner bush: yes. >> commissioner lee, and deputy city attorney, would it be possible to amend my motion,
that in so doing, we also note and affirm her -- her public responsibility and her direction to staff to file form 700 and undertake the ethics trainings and anything else that commissioner bush would like to add and do it that way, so that it's encompassed in the motion itself? >> commissioner bush: i like that. >> sure. why don't we go ahead and pursue that motion. >> commissioner chiu: okay. i then put forward that amended motion. >> commissioner bush: i second it. >> president lee: okay. call the roll.
>> clerk: a motion has been made and seconded. i will now call the roll. [roll call] >> clerk: with four votes in the affirmative and zero votes opposed, the motion is approved unanimously. >> president lee: okay. thank you, everyone. it is now 11:30, and we have couple of major items still coming up, so let's take a five-minute break? >> chair lee, may i just follow up with one item? >> president lee: yes. >> yes. in response to commissioner bush's query and commissioner chiu's amendment that has just been discussed, i think one way to acknowledge the -- the feedback that you've been providing or questions you have about the mayor's apparent direction to her staff to take ethics training and so forth,
we can certainly follow up with the mayor's office to get more information about that. i understand that came in yesterday to an e-mail perhaps to her staff. but as you do know, we do issue press releases about actions that the office has undertaken. happy to include that in the press release that those steps have been taken, but we do include those to make the public aware of the enforcement actions and the steps that have been taken. >> president lee: okay. that's great. so let's take a ten-minute break and meet back here at 11:40 >> we are back for the august 13 ethics commission meeting and we are now on the agenda item number 10, but before i
see, let's remind the public that if they want to offer their publiccomments , they should dial into the number that is on your screen and the moderator will speak to call on you when the comments period is open so with that, we are on agenda item number 10 which is the presentation discussion of action and findings for recommendations. a long-awaited report on gifts to individuals and before we turn it over to mister pat, i want to commend the director and staff for putting together a very thorough, well thought-out, well researched document for us to digest toda . so with that let's proceed.
>> thank you chair lee. hello commissioners this is pat ford, senior legislative affairs council an with me as michael canning, our policy analyst . thankyou for your kind words . it was definitely an office wide effort . we had people in every division helping us so much of that thanks is owed to lots ofpeople around the office so can't even name them all . many people have a handedness and ronald if you could do you mind passing the presenter rol to me so i can share the screen ? thank you. >> i'm going to share a few slides to help prime minister. this is a pretty lengthy and content heavy report so i thought it would briefly it's on some of the highlights here . just to help you begin your discussion and i'dbe glad to answer any questions that you
might have after that . >> you should be able to see my screen now. >> is correct. >> i want to put this report in context. it's a long project and this report is one of multiple reports. i want to remind you the public where we are in theprogress of this project . so the first report taken out of this project which isproject reviewing the city's ethics and conflicts of interest rule , the first report was delivered in november 2020. in that report focused on that half of payments which are payments made at the request of the city official employee to some third-party. and back in november the commission approved some legislative recommendations in that report. those are still pending before the board and we have still not
gotten a hearing date on that ordinance so that ordinance has now been pendingfor about nine months . the last word that i've gotten is that hopefully we will get the first rules committee hearing after labor daywhen the board returns to recess .keep you updated. but that is thestatus of that first report . the report that's before you today is the first of 2 reports talking about gets. and this report specifically talked about gifts to individuals. those are the gifts of some third-party directly to the city official oremployee . the next report we will bring you is a little different and it will talk about gifts that run through city departments before they get busyofficers or employees . and final phase of the project will be kind of the miscellaneous stage of things that we know we want to look at that don'tnecessarily warrant a full stand alone report .
and that are not payments or gifts but that arerelevant to this project we will put in . so some background. about the project in general, especially about gifts as well. just to set the stage, this project was initiated after the federal government started bringing criminal charges againstcity officials , employees and contractors. in particular to department heads in an and an additional city employee were charged with the department heads of course are carlin kelly, eight individuals have agreed to plead guilty to the criminal charges brought by the department of justice. and most recently there were a local criminal charges brought by san francisco district attorney against another former city employee relating to the violations ofethics laws . and to date, six city officials
and employees have resigned or been terminated either because they werecharged or somehow related to those allegations . so just to set the stage a significant number of people in high-level positions with allegations of ethics problems . to provide context i want to reiterate what the restrictive source rule is. the restricted source rule today local gifts law that says city officials and employees cannot accept gifts from restricted sourcesand that's of course subject to some exceptions which you will have read about in the report , a fewexceptions and we will talk about them as well today . restricted source can be one of two things . restricted source is either someone is doing or seeking to do business withthe apartment for the city official or
employee in question for someone who has thought to influence that official or employee in some way . that could be a lobbyist who's contacted them, a client a lobbyist who's paid a lobbyist to contactofficial, a permit consultants or somebody who's just contacted them and tried to influence their actions in some way not a lobbyist . it's a really broad definition but that's what the restricted source rule is and in the federal complaints that i mentioned a moment ago we can see faqs in the legislature thatseem to indicate restricted source rule violations . many of them come in the form of free meals and alcohol. we see that in most if not all of the federal complaints involved, at least some allegation of somebody who is likely restricted source providing free food or drinks to city officials or employees that's a common one. another one you see is travel costsfor trips . some more notable ones that we saw, a $30,000 watch.
a $40,000 tractor and $250,000 of construction services including materials and labor so all these if the allegations are true of your to have been fromrestricted sources so they would violate that rule .what we are seeing on the federal complaints and why we devoted and look for specifically to gift rules is that we can see a wide variety of and intensity of what appeared to be restricted sourcerule violations . to try to determine whether or not these were isolated incidents or whether they are indicative of a broader problem throughout the city organization, we did kind of a novel approach of taking a sample of form 700 filings and doing a deep dive on them to see if we can see any other restricted source violations. we chose six departments that were related in some way to the federal construction
allegations. either they had officials that were arrested or issuing permits to some of the contractors who were arrested and so we chose six departments and look at all the individuals in those departments who filed their form 700s electronically andagain, those are just commissioners, department heads and elected officials . most of the employees filed on paper. those are noteasily accessible so we're not able to review them in a comprehensive way . we are transpiring to e-filing but we've not arrived at that yet so we look only at the e filers, high-level officials and the gifts they've recorded and using public documents we tried to see if any of the sources appeared as if they might be restricted sources and we did find that sixindividuals appear to have reported gets that they have been from restricted sources . in some examples of those are
anofficial wasreported by a , reportedly contacted by a lobbyist . and subsequently accepted a giftfrom that lobbyist . that lobbyist would be in restricted source they were attempting toinfluence that individual. there would be separate gifts for that rule against lobbyist gifts but in this case this is not an elected official . separately official reported receiving dinner at a piece of apparel from an entity when that entity was seeking to become a contractor with that department which makes them likely a restricted source and it officially appears that entity has likely sought to influence the department regarding that contract so that's another indicator of being a restricted source. another example we saw an official report receiving tickets from entities that were doing business and pursuing additional business that department so again, both
indicators of restricted source. the point of this review was not tospecifically identify these people and try to pursue violations against them . the point was to determine whether or not this is a broad phenomenon and i think based on our sample we concluded that it'san issue . it definitely shows usthe restricted source rule needs to be strengthened. and that's what we sought to do . for this project. one last slide on background to give you more context, this is just global data about all gifts reported by electronic filers so commissioners, department heads during an eight year period from 2013 to 2020. there's been recording years and this is all the gifts that werereported . they tally up to just under $900,000 and you can see that travel makes up a large portion of the gifts by value.
tickets, meals and events make up a large portion of the gifts in terms ofnumber of the gifts . this is just to give you an idea of the scope of gifts that are being reported and generally wherethey fall in terms of type and value .and keep in mind that these are gifts that are recordable so gifts that fall under an exception would not appear. they would not be recorded so a gift from a close familymember like your spouse would not be recorded . theseare just reported gets . moving on to our approach to this project. the goals we were trying to achieve by reviewing giftrules . first, to reduce the danger of undue influence. they talk about the restricted source rule again. the main point of that rule is to make sure people who are seeking favorable outcomes from city officials are not giving gifts because that has a danger of causing undueinfluence and affecting that person's
judgment .so that's one of the main things we sought to do through this project is to make sure that the rulesare living up to this goal of reducing the danger . also we wanted to prevent opportunities for brides. the bride is kind of a higher level of gift problem where there is an actual intent to influence the government decision. when a gift is given with the intent to influence a bride. restricted source rule doesn't have to be the intent to influence. it's just a person giving the gift meets one of those categories of being a restricted source if you're a contractor or someone seeking to influence and they can't give a gift but we believe that i gift from arestricted source is often a channel for a bride . that's confirmed by the federal allegations that a lot of those restricted sources giving gifts did in fact intend it to influence officialactions and thosefolks were charged with
bribery . we also wanted to try to improve organizational culture . there's been a lot of talk about the tone of the talk and you see that in the controllers report and we agree that's an important part of addressing the ethical issues we see in the city. it is improving our organizational culture and we think having really strong and really clear gift rules is a huge part of that . and of course restoring the public trust. allthese top three bullets go towards that . that's what is at stake here is do the people of the city trust the governmentincluding we do everything we can to build that trust . our approach in achieving these goals is consisted largely of trying toeliminate loopholes in gift rules . again seeking to make rules strong, make them robust and talented. can be exploited to undermine prism in sickness and we wanted to make the rules much more clear . rules that have a long list of exceptions can be confusing and can actually undermine people's
confidence or have howseriously they take the rules so we wanted to make the rules strong and clear . although these are not partsof this policy project , since we're focusing on the lost themselves i do want to highlight that education and enforcement will always be a part of any renewed focuson any area of the law . so gifts, if the commission decides to move forward with the legislative recommendation will talk about in a moment, education and enforcement will be a part of our office wide approach but idon't talk about them in the report . we're just focusing on the law as well . with that i'll talk about the actual recommendations. in the report i break down the recommendations into 6 separate recommendations then at the end of the report i tried to provide you with a list of each
specific change that those recommendations would entail. each change to the law and i separated them by regulation changes and ordinance of legislative changes that would help you see what would be involved legislatively in terms of moving those recommendations forward and i also hope it would facilitate your discussion and any motion you'd want to make but today, this debt, i kept this organized by the 6 sections in the report. this is an easier way to approach these . the first one is to remove many of the state law sections. currently affect the restricted source rule and i think this goes to a question commissioner chiu asked during a previous agenda item and she's correct that as i discussed in the report, as we discussed in the report, the restricted source rule uses the
definition of gifts except for state law in the california government code, the political reform act and that definition is subject to a long list of exceptions . and when we went through and nice beach exception we concluded that it's inappropriate to apply many of them to restricted source rule . for one, those exceptions were not created with the restricted source rule in mind, they were created for purposes of form 700 reporting and for the $520 annual gift limits under state law. their stateexceptions so they were thinking of state laws when they created them, they being these local practices commission . when you try and apply some of those restrictions or exceptions to the restricted source rule, they either don't make sense and some of them literally don't apply. they don'tmake sense or they result in what we believe is a
negative policy outcome. and in fact they undermine the purposes of the rule . so there's a chart in the report that goes through each of them. and specifies which ones recommends removing and which ones they're retaining. i will go through those right now because there too many of them but perhaps i will talk about them and answerquestions you might have . just to clarify when i say remove them we can't remove them from state law but what we can do is create a local definition of gift within the campaign and governmental conduct code that leads those exceptions out so by defining gifts in our own law, we as a city can decide what we consider to be a gift and therefore what we apply in the restricted source rule so we've already done that with the gifts from subordinates rule that was done in 2004 and for whatever reason that seems to havenot been taken fromthe restricted source rule . that's what we're proposing be done now . >> second recommendation also involves exceptionsto the
restricted source rule . but here we're talkingabout the local exception . so in addition to those state lawexceptions are in the state ranks ,talking about definition of gifts . we also have local acceptance that are in the ethics commission regulations . we took a close look at each of those exceptions and we found that the exceptions create opportunities for abuse that many of them also undermine pieces of the restricted source rule . inparticular there are a number of exceptions involved free meals . one of them allows restricted sources to provide unlimited free food and drink to city employeesas long as it is shared inside the office . and we did not find that to be convincing rationale to allow exceptions . to the restricted source rule. we recommend that accepting the removed. likewise there are three separate exceptions that allow certain departments to accept free meals from certain members
of industries so in particular there are exceptions for the airport, to accept free meals from certain representatives of certain companies that they may sometime do business with and similar exceptions allows for free meals from representatives of the financial services industry and again, we are do not find that was a convincing rationale to allow city employees toaccept what would otherwise be restricted source gifts . we found that the controllers, the accounting policies allow for departments to reinforce employees forbusiness-related meals . we found that would likely be a position channel for employees to get reimbursed from the need to attend a meal as part of their job duties. that's a better and sound are way to pay for those meals and two have the restricted source paper them because that clearly rates a kind of danger of undue influence therule was created to present .
likewise there is an exception for periodic small gifts, the exception allows 4 gifts ayear up to $25 . he tried to date into what will that was therefore and we believe that it's too broad to serve the purpose it's meant for. the purpose. to be allowing employees to do business with vendors, to accept some kind of small routine items from them like if they go on-site to accept a bottle of water or pad of paper or something while they're at meeting . we think that acceptingshould be much more narrowly tailored .the third recommendation is to ensure that the restricted source rule applies broadly meeting to lots of different circumstances where restricted source rules or restricted source gifts are at play. specifically we think it's important to prohibit the giving of the restricted source gifts actually prohibits the
restricted source from giving the gift. you see that principle already present in the lobbyist gift rule. not only did the elected official not accept the gift the lobbyist may notmake the gift . likewise you see that in the campaign-finance context . certain contributions can be accepted by acandidate . it's also unlawful for the person in question to give the contribution we think that same principle should be added to the restricted sourcerule that make the rule much stronger and more enforceable . similarly we think that the use of intermediaries to launder gifts should be explicitly prohibited. there may already be some regulations that could be brought in to try and achieve that purpose so we think it's much better to explicitly say that in the code ones, so that it's just much clearer and easier to enforce but also just really clearly communicate that the people that you can't give a gift to somebody and have them pass iton to a officer ,
it's a restrictedsource . but that would also be a violation. likewise we think it's important to the officials and employees as acting as the intermediary so trying to close that loophole so that intermediaries don't undermine the rule and lastly, we think it's important to prohibit gifts to family members so if a gift to a city officer for the restrictedsource gift, a gift to that officer's spouse should also be a restricted source gifts principal should also be present in the lobbyist gift rule . worth recommendation isto clarify how therestricted source rule applies to those who do business with the city . as i mentioned earlier , a contractor doing business or seeking to do business with an officials department is oursa restricted source but we think it's important to clarify a few things . for one, define what the
contract is. define what a contract proposal is. i know it seems like basic conceptsbut they're not explicitly spelled out in the law . that is done again in the campaign-finance context . if you look at contractor contribution goal that rule and theory clearly spells out what it means to be a city contractor, what itmeans to bed on the contract and submit a proposal . it's important to have those same concepts to benefit from that clarity. iwhat does it mean to be a permanent applicant . it's important to specify someone who apply for a permit for a license also becomes a person doing business with a restricted source. similarly, we think it's important to clarify how the restricted source rule applies to individuals who are associated with an entity who is a restricted source so if some corporation is doing business with the department, we think it's important to clarify that major shareholders, directors and
officers of that corporation or themselves restricted sources otherwise someone could argue that they can get a restricted source because there at a city contractor, there are wholly-owned subsidiary. so we think it's good to explicitly stop out for people that's not the case, that the rule does in fact apply to individuals and that's already done in the campaign-finance context. the contractorcontribution rule as opposed to the same thing here with the restricted source rule . >> the recommendation the fifth recommendation is to perform exceptions to this for new gift rule. we haven't talked about this but it's been discussed earlie today and we have that prior agenda item . the support gift rule prohibits employees from accepting gifts from theirsubordinates . the people who report to them or who are applying for a job . and like the restricted source
rule there are also exceptions to the subordinate gift rule contained in the ethics commission's regulation . we review these and didn't find as many issues with these acceptance but we think it's important to makethem clearer , consolidate them toa certain extent. i think some of them are a little duplicative so we could consolidate some of those exceptions and clarify them . take certain occasions when it's okay for a subordinate to give a gift or i should say it's okay for the official to accept the gift from a subordinate.we think it's important to drilldown and make it explicit what those occasions are that folks know what'sokay and what's not . similarly thereshould be a dollar limit with with a gift . it should be an open ended exception . it shouldn't allow for a gift only up to a certain amount so it's essentially possible to make a gesture to your boss but not togive a gift that would undermine the purpose . lastly, we recommend that gifts
from permit expediters to officials andemployees and permit issuing departments be prohibited . i mentioned the lobbyist gift rule.lobbyists are prohibited from giving gifts toelected officials .similarly, if a permanent expediter or consultant is regulated like a lobbyist there'smoney was a professional influencer . there hired by a client to contact city officials or employees to try to see the official outcomes for their clients so we think the same policy underlying lobbyist gift rules would justify creating a permanent consultant control that would say permit consultants should not give a gift to an official or employee in oneof those permit issuing departments like the department of building inspection or department of public works . that rule should be modeled on the lobbyist gift rule .
so that concludes the recommendation . i wanted to leave you with this segment of section .2 300 which is the section that has the findings and purpose of the government ethics ordinance . that's the chapter that contains all the conflict of interest rule and it says government decisions of employees of the county should appear to be made in a fair and impartial basis. this was something that animated our approach to this project was not just that conflict of interest rule, specifically gift rules should try to eliminate conflicts but they should also eliminate the appearance of conflicts. since we're trying to build a public trust we want to communicate our gift rules are strong and strict and not having a bunch of exceptions so that decisions appear to be,
notjust are madeimpartially but appear to be made impartially . that's something that's really of mind for us . so i will turn back my presenter hours to ronald. i'm glad to answer any questions you might have and also just wanted to let you know that we do have and code is the cfo at the airport here and i think he hassome comments about some of the recommendations so i'll leave it to you how you want to read to discuss it but i wanted to know . >> thank you so much mister four. i must say excuse me, this has been a project with much sweat and tears. many of us attended the consultation meeting and had help with stakeholders and they made excellent recommendations so in addition to these public
consultations i know that the staff has been talking with colleagues across the country and its truly reflected in the deliberations that were put in to this call report. so the reason why i ask is someone from the airport commission was going to be present because with your numerous recommendations one, seems to jump out which is different from your other recommendations so i would pull that off until my colleagues have commented on this report and they might bring the same thing too. so let's open up for discussion from our colleagues. commissioner chiu, you are up.
>> as i said before, i'm still collecting my thoughts. >> commissioner bush. >> i think it's an excellent report, one of the besti've seen from staff in some time . and also very educational for all of us. i had a few questions that i wanted to ask about exceptions to the gift rules. so the gift rules apply primarily to things that have financial value? i'm thinking for example of a city official who was gifted stock options under friends and family because the stock options had not yet been realized and he didn't intend to realize them until he left office but nevertheless, they
were gifted at a certain value and later on would have much more value. are those covered in this? in your rules there? >> the definition of gift uses the word payment sothat's kind of a starting point is payments and the term of art understate law , i wouldguess given stock options yes would constitute a payment . how to value that , how the vesting schedule or stock options affect how and when that becomes the gift i can't say right now but yes, they definitely would fall in some way within the scope of gift rules just as they do in financial reporting and the report in form 700. and. >> i don't think it gets reported on form 700. it goes to the history that you said earlier about what appears
to be clear and so stock options don't appear to be fair given they are within the limits of the law. i'm not sure what the rules are. i know when this took place before the city attorney rule they were not agift because it was not yet realized . and i'm just wondering if that's still the case today. >> i don't know i'd have to look into that . >> also when it comes into things like hotel room upgrade and so forth , is there a cap on how much could be given? >> i think the answer to that question depends on whether or not agift constitutes a gift of
travel . there's a distinction in state law between gifts of travel, specific gifts of travel. so if you're traveling to a speech or to do certain kinds of trading or job-related educational things, it's still a gift if somebody pays for that is not subject to the annual limits. the answer to your question depends on whetherthat would be part of travel accommodation expenses that falls within the exception . there's likely no limit, it does not fall within thelimits are blind . >> should we consider establishing a limit alert to the federal on travel? >> are you talking about for a per diem? >> yes. >> i don't know if it's something that would go within our line. thecomptroller's office already has all these per diem's .
it talks about all that so i think we already have these rules. >> but that's just something they adopted themselves. that's not by the city officials. on a sister city trip to paris for example to accept helicopter rides around sites and so forth. that's notcovered by per diem or anything else as far as we know , right? >> right, and i should point out gifts of travel should no longer be raisins from the restricted source rule so if a respected source is paying for travel, right now that is not subject to the limits and it's also not subject to the restricted source rule. our code is explicit about tha . i think that's a change so that'sone of our recommendations is those should not be able to come from
restricted sources . >> if a donor passes the money through a third-party, is that covered? >> at one of our recommendations as well as an intermediary should not be able to be used as a respected source gift. you can't knowingly give a gift to an intermediary with the intent it be passed on to acity official whenit would be a respected source gift , it's a gift you gave directly to the official . >> i think finally, you have addressed to some extent allowing gifts on special occasions. is that correct? >> that's where the rule against gifts from subordinate . so the subordinate gift rule has exceptions right now that says, there are two separate exceptions. one is an exception that allows gifts on occasions of great personal significance. and another one is for gifts that are given on occasion when gifts are traditionally given.
so what we are recommending is that those two exceptions be rolled together into one and we explicitly list out one it's okay. so in particular we're talking about things like birthday gifts, christmas or other holiday. a birth, adoption of a child. death in the family. something like that when it's traditional to give somebody some kind of offering but we think there should be a low that so you can give some small nominal thing to your boss if your boss as a child . but that we should be explicit about what that is. i knowit's open ended . it's just an event of personal significance that's open to interpretation we should and that openness to interpretation and make it a fixed list . >> i don't know if you look at the rules in hawaii. the hawaii ethics commission
met with us over what they call a low heart gifts. which are given to say aloha, i don't know where it is exactly but below heart gifts are a tradition in hawaii. there are restricting of people that are very unhappy over tha . >> we engaged with the honolulu ethics commission and the last we talked to them they were still working on a project so they had come out with a final recommendation for a law that but you're correct, that is what they were looking at. the initial recommendation that the staff were going to make is all gifts should be prohibited, there should be no exceptions and nowi think to someextent , i don't know where exactly that's going to land . >> is a respected source including someone who is seeking to influence city policy but not a contract? for example, brooks that are
seeking to influence city taxation policy where they clearly would benefit from a change in the tax policy, are they a respected source? >> that would be an attempt to influence. you would need to see them for example meeting with let's just say a member of the board saying we want you to vote on this ordinance . that would be an attempt to influence so they would be a respected source. >> or if they chose to do it through other parties like in addition to contact lobbying we i have other kinds of lobbying. >> we would definitely interpret paying a lobbyist, permit consultants, even somebody who doesn't qualify as a lobbyist but somebody who contacts an official on your
behalf, we would consider that an attempt to influence. >> we have major developers who disclosed that they are making contributions to a nonprofit that will in turn speak on behalf of thedevelopers projects. how does that fit in what you're talking about ? >> that's an interesting question. it does they paint a nonprofit constitute anattempt to influence ? itwould depend onwhether , what is the nonprofit doing ? >> under our city law, the nonprofit agrees to either write a letter or testify publicly on behalf of the developers project. >> so public testimony at a public meeting is not something that constitutes an attempt to influence. there's an exception to that for obvious reasons. we don't want people giving public, to become a respected source . that doesn't make sense if they're writing a letter or meeting with the person that
tends to influence and make them a respectedsource . >> testifying at a public meeting, that were paid to do so by contributions fromthe future development ? >> probably, yes. i think the testimony itself would still be exempt without attempt to influence but yes, there are otheractivities they were doing for that payment, potentially that constitute an attempt to influence . >> that's the specific condition ofgetting the money is they agreed to testify . that's what it says in the law. >> i don'tknow, i have to look at that one. if someone is paid to give public comment at a commission meeting . >> their organization received a contribution . >> i would guess it's probably
uncommon that anorganization would be paid solely to give public comment . i would guessthere is usually other forms of advocacy they do as part of that arrangement . >> all i can tell you is if you go to the major developers they each get over lists the people they've given money to that they will testify so it's not something where you are guessing. it's disclosed on their part. i think that's my question. >> okay, commissioner chiu. >> thank you cheerleading. i appreciate the question. i'd like to thank staff for this comprehensive year, this discussion and presentation of overlap and weaknesses and
conflicts live in this complicated area. it's a matter of undertaking and we filled out all the essential information to follow so thank you. you touched on the discussion with commissioner busch. can you go over more to the benchmarking that you did in this process? ithink that your trip to honolulu and also los angeles , is that kind of typical for gifts and other jurisdiction and what are the recommendations you're proposing in line to the middle of the road, with regard to regulation of gifts to our sister jurisdictions or would we be sticking out ground of
the first question and the second question relates to broadly what are the consequences and are there opportunities for any of the regulated communities to seek a waiver if there's a respected source, seeking arelationship with a city official . what happens if they get engaged and it's an engagement ring. would that be an ethics violation and perhaps the consequences are quite huge and lastly, i would very much like to hear from representatives from the airport commission and also understand what if any feedback you receive from the regulators on these proposed changes?
>> thank you for your questions commissioner. to your first question about jurisdictional comparison, in this report we look to other jurisdictions for potential solutions to problems we were identifying example we look to los angeles to see if they had a similar exception for routine officecourtesies . that's what they call it in lo angeles . they do have that exception what we are recommending is to do something like what they do so if a city employee goes to the office of a vendor and there's some refreshments for a pan or something, they can accept that even though that business is a respected source, they can take those things because they areavailable to anybody who visits the office and they are a very small value . that's an example of where we
identified an issue we had . we looked for how in other jurisdiction saul that issue. we take the approach in this project to try to bring our lost necessarily in line with otherjurisdictions . the way we list this as we saw a clear problem. we saw a clear of issues and we sought to address those through whatever means wehad . if it's the means that we saw in the jurisdiction or the means that we saw that we use to have in san francisco and we created an exception, that's what we're recommending. i think especially since the gift will have been around so long we thought that was appropriate. where morelikely to take approach where we are looking at other jurisdictions right off the bat to guide us we're doing something new . that was very much part of our analysis just to see how other jurisdictions were handling th payments at the time we were waiting into that area . >>. [please stand by]
i've gotten feedback from a couple of stakeholders who were at the stakeholder meetings, but we didn't get written comment unfortunately. >> i hope to hear more from the community as we proceed on future meetings on this. chair, i leave it up to you as to when we can hear from the airport commission representatives. >> thank you, commissioner. as commissioner chu mentioned about the airport commission, i noticed and all of us noticed that under the existing rules there are three agencies that received exemptions. this is while you
[indiscernible] to the two other agencies. one of them was the port commission. but your recommendation was either to reform or to retain the current exemptions because the airport commission deals with a different kind of partner who are internationally formed airlines. so i want to thank the call from the san francisco airport commission -- >> shirley, might i clarify that before you move on? is this i apologize if we weren't clear in the report. our primary recommendation is that that exception be removed. that would be our first recommendation. i think the alternative that we offered was that it be reformed, but the best course of action would be to treat the airport
the same as all other departments and not have the exception anymore. >> it seems to be different. >> it is different. there could be interest in the commission and just to be constructive and save time and not coming back to you with an alternative, we wanted to [indiscernible] -- >> the airport commission feels that it is important for them, for the commission, to keep the
exemption. so we will hear from -- >> i had worked on this project as well. i will share with the commission that i had the good fortune of working on this exemption 14 years ago with the ethics commission. i worked with staff closely in creating this exception. as the commissioners may or amenity know, the san francisco airport is an enterprise fund of the city and county of san francisco. we received no support financially from the city's general fund. we raised our own money to pay
our own expenses. so this exception back a number of years to 2007. this followed out of the shipping industry which was these meetings that were held over dinner and particularly the genesis for this really came from the asian carriers who would travel to san francisco to decide if they would deploy their aircraft to serve the san francisco market. because of certain rules, some of the executives at that time had to decline the dinners that for the asian carriers they would lose faith, that they
weren't able to express their gratitude and hospitality. really, the genesis was to accommodate cultural business practices from asian carriers deciding if they wanted to serve san francisco airport. we are competing with los angeles international, portland, seattle, and even some of the inland airports because now aircraft can overfly san francisco and go to places like denver and chicago instead of flying here. so these meetings again were to try to convince carriers to serve the san francisco market. today the report shows an economic impact of $60 billion
since 2019. these are the aircraft that are bringing the people to the bay area economy, the hotels, the tourism. and by establishing more routes to san francisco, we believe we can bring more economic impacts to the bay area as well. one thing that i could not speak to your staff about in thinking about my speaking today, one of the things that is a little bit different than the concerns you have for the other city officials, where i think in one of the reports it says meals can ingratiate themselves to seek favorable terms. well, in this circumstance, the airlines are signing a lease to operate at san francisco airport to pay us. the city is not paying them. and in terms of favorable terms, there is a provision in the federal aviation administration
law of how we charge airports and the basic law says it has to be fair and non-discriminatory. that means we cannot give one carrier a better financial term than another carrier. it all has to be the same across all carriers. we don't have the ability, whether we have an agreement with an airline or not to provide favorable terms. the lease agreement is one approved by the airport commission and the board of supervisors. we do not have the ability to amend those terms. any airline that comes so s.f.o., they pay the same fees under the same circumstances. in conclusion, we would very much like you to keep the provision exemptions the way it is in the sense that it has stood the test of time to allow
san francisco airport to be the fastest-growing airport up to 2019 for international and domestic traffic. it has served our staff well that have traveled the world to convince airlines to fly to san francisco. and again, the circumstance, like i explained, is a little different. we are not paying these airlines any fees. the airlines pay san francisco airport terminal rental rate, landing fees, and a fee for their office space. this is a little bit of the inverse of the concerns that we have. i appreciate you allowing me to speak and i'd be happy to answer any questions. >> thank you so much for the clarification. are there other questions? >> two questions about the arrangement with airlines.
how is it decided which airlines will have gates? i know not all airlines who would like a san francisco gate are able to obtain them. and secondly, how do we decide which airlines will have hospitality suites like the ones you can have a membership in and use in between flights? >> thank you, commissioner, for your question. the first response is the way they obtain gates is spelled out in the lease and use agreement. again, that is governed overall by the f.a.a. the way they do that is they earn gates by the number of scheduled seats they have in the month of august. depending on how they have scheduled, we allocate the appropriate number of gates to the carriers. so the carriers that have more
service get more gates. having said that, we have a mechanism to your point to where if an airline doesn't want a preferential gate, every year we have five to seven common-use gates that are owned by the airport, where airlines that come in on a seasonal or an infrequent basis can pay for the use of those common use gates and just pay for it as they use it. the second question on how to airlines determine if they want to have a flight hub, that's really up to the demographic of their passenger and if the airline has space. we are space constrained, so it is hard to make a flight club, but that is a big amenity for passengers. the thing that makes it tough for flight clubs is it's the
second-highest tier rent and flight clubs are expensive for airlines to operate and pay rent and operate. the major carriers, united, delta, alaska now have flight club to san francisco. and all the internationals mostly have a club or they share a club with the star alliance or one world alliance system. thank you. >> you mentioned the desire of asian companies to have a place. my experience, having worked in international marketing is that is true in the far east, not just asian. >> thank you for that comment. i was using that as an immediate example as some people identify
with that concept and some people don't understand the concept of this in foreign cultures as well. thank you for that clarification. >> as a result of that, the u.s. government adopted what they considered to be [indiscernible] bribery rules which say you cannot accept those kinds of gifts if you are a federal employee involved in things. thank you for your presentation and your advocacy on behalf of the airport, a place that i spend way too much time in. so the question i have is trying to understand the cultural advocacy that you're giving. if i take you at your word about -- that the cultures
internationally that we're dealing with in terms of putting san francisco in a better position, could you explain to me the competitive advantage or disadvantage of this gift removal which is suggested by staff. am i to, in my basic understanding, to basically say, oh man, china airlines or singapore airlines is going to go to l.a.x. and talk to them. because they have a gift rule that is less restrictive than ours that we are liable to lose out because we can't take them to whatever it is. they can't go to a restaurant and have a dinner and figure out that we can do business together. talk to me about this cultural
fact and our rules about trying to not have corruption and competitive advantages or disadvantages. it's like, well, let's try to find the airport with the least amount of rules and go there, which i'm assuming is not your advocacy, but i would like you to speak to it, please. >> thank you, commissioner. i cannot tell you definitively if we accept the deal that an airline will fly to san francisco. we are simply advocating that we are trying to respect the business practices of these organizations and being, again -- following the practices of tradition. since the onset of aviation, this has been a practice. will an airline not fly to san francisco because we didn't
accept this? probably not. there are so many positive factors of the bay area, the demographic, the wealth in the area that will probably cause them to continue to fly. but again, we're just trying to follow the industry practices. if it's the wish of the commission to exempt or remove that, we respect that. i want to help the commission respect the bigger picture of competition. and not only is this l.a., the aircraft, as you know, are very expensive and they decide on flying the aircraft to san francisco versus frankfurt, germany. wherever they want to put the aircraft is going to yield the most amount of profit.
one thing i also wanted to say is in the possible exception, the exception was excepted for [indiscernible] who are not currently servicing s.f.o. limited to one meal per year and three additional staff. if that was the approach the ethics commission took, i would ask that it be -- the provision of not serving s.f.o. be removed because we have carriers who are serving s.f.o. today who are thinking about adding additional flights. if a meeting or a dinner meeting over additional flights, even though they're currently serving, we would not want to turn those opportunities down as
well. >> the last question i would have for you is for us to consider -- once again state our position. we know what your position is. we queried you about it, you responded in kind. for you to say, oh, the commission voted in the kind of way that i wanted to go, what would be your advocacy as to what's the position you want us to take? >> our advocacy is to leave the exception in its current form. >> right, okay. thank you for that. >> [indiscernible] -- has the commission ever considered
paying for their own meals because we all dealt with foreign governments and foreign businesses. i think once they know that while we respect the culture and we understand the importance of saving face, the importance is you're there, you're sharing the meal. but if you pay for your own meal, that they don't pay for, you're still engaged with the conversation, but they are not paying you because the appearance is so critical. when people see you extravagantly, they automatically think there is bribery involved. if it is known that you are attending and this is part of a business process or do what we did with the federal government, we just sit there, we don't eat, because you're there for the
meeting. sure, they can serve whatever they have. you don't eat or drink the wine. you're still there and giving your face. because your face is the presence. so have you considered other alternatives? because it seems like a meal is just a meal and i know that s.f.o. is in competition with other carriers. especially we pride ourselves with being gate specific. i certainly do not want to hamper the commission's ability to support future busy and the local economy. but at the same time, it sounds like a meal exemption is a
make-or-break kind of a rule for you. >> thank you for the suggestion. we have not considered that, but i'll take that back to the director for consideration in the future. if i may in light of covid, we lost 94% of our air traffic in april of last year. international traffic has not returned. we are working hard with the carriers right now to try to get carriers to return as we see how the pandemic pans out. but even though we've lost -- some carriers have walked away from s.f.o., we will have our work cut out for us to try to reattract alternative carriers. i would appreciate it if the commission took that into the thought process as well, trying to rebuild the international
market here in san francisco. thank you. >> thank you. any questions? thank you again and let's open up for public comment. >> clerk: thank you, madam chair. mr. cohn, thank you so much. you took me back to my 23-year career with the city of denver aviation. you just took me back. please stand by. >> did they have a meal exemption there? >> yes they did. [ laughter ]. >> clerk: madam chair, we are checking on the queue. please continue to wait until the system indicates you have been muted. we are on the discussion of agenda item 01, presentation, discussion and possible action on findings and recommendations
of report on gifts: gifts to individuals dated august 2, 2021. press star 3 to provide your public comment. you will hear a bell when you have 30 seconds remaining. please stand by. >> can i ask mr. ford, do you know if l.a.x., if they have a meals exemption still? >> they do not, no. they do not have this industry-specific meal exemption. l.a. has a diminimus exemption that we have right now and are no longer recommending. this says you could accept a small gift once a year through a restricted source. they have that in l.a. but no
meal exemption. >> clerk: madam chair, we have a caller in the queue. please stand by. caller, your three minutes begins now. >> commissioners, i've been involved for the last 20 years trying to find out why there is such a big difference between the federal government, because i mostly work with the federal government, this divide with the city and county of san francisco. the ethics commission, the task force, the controller's office, all these many years have done
very little to stop the corruption. what we're doing is dancing around the mulberry bush. right now as we speak, we had people representing the public utilities commission and they haven't learned anything. they're using the contract monitoring division to contact whoever they want to, like a limited number of contractors, so they can give them contracts. there is no law enforcement. we have a human rights commission. then we had a real commission. now we have the contract
commission [indiscernible] and the only person that woke you up was a person called david henderson from the f.b.i. -- >> clerk: your three minutes have expired. >> to do so something, but the entire investigation has stalled. thank you very much. >> clerk: please stand by. madam chair, there are no further callers in the queue. you are muted.
>> maybe we can give an overview of what the next steps might look like. as i mentioned, this phase on gifts we split into two reports. there is this report on gifts to individuals and the next report will be gifts made to departments. what we're recommending is that you vote to tell us which recommendations you would like us to draft in coordination with the city attorney's office with a set of draft ordinance and draft regulation amendments. we would do the same process with our recommendation for gifts through departments. once you vote on both set of recommendations, we would bring
you a single consolidated draft ordinance and a single consolidated draft regulations that you could take a final vote on. i think in the interest of bringing you legislation that's likely to be approved, it's been a useful practice to have the votes happen before we draft the regulations, so you could vote on what recommendations you like and would like to see in draft form. we put it before you and you make sure that comports with your understanding of the recommendations and you can do a final vote to approve the legislation. so i guess to answer your question, it would be most helpful if you were to choose what route you would like to go on the airport exception. if you would like us to draft this, it would be a draft regulation. omitting it or if you would like to see a draft regulation that
keeps it in some form. >> thank you, chair. i was wondering if now that we've heard from mr. cohn if we might hear from mr. ford on any responses or a reaction informing us as we go into this vote. if there's any reactions or thoughts in terms of what mr. cohn brought before us. >> definitely. first of all, i want to thank mr. cohn for engaging with us. i think this has been an incredibly important part of this project. this is definitely helpful to do. i think going back to that section of the purposes and
intent of the government ethics organs that i put up, the rules are not here to remove undue influence. they're also here to remove the appearance of undue influence. we don't need to convince ourselves in the city that we're doing the right thing, but also the people of san francisco. i think if your average person saw this exception, they would not appreciate the things going on. for us, although there are some countervailing things going on. as i mentioned, the controller's office allows this to be done. if it is important for this to
happen, the airport should budget and pay and reimburse these employees to participate in these meals. i think it's okay as a city to drive our ethics policy. we do not have to comply with the norms of the industry and in other countries. it is okay and we should do this and drive what we think is the right thing to do. on balance, we would prefer to not have this exception. >> i would like to see language that would reform the exception. i appreciate both sides of the coin. we are still in a pandemic and are there ways to revise the
exemption. i think on principle, yes, it's important to be consistent and have these rules here. i don't know if the revision contemplates or could contemplate the same thing that chair lee has proposed. the exception is that the city will pay for the meal. i would like to see on the one hand a version with it out and a version with something exploring alternatives of reform.
>> what's the pleasure, my colleagues? does anyone want to make a motion to move this forward with the recommendations from commissioners bell and chu or should we table it for until next month. commissioner ford, you have not heard back from all of the stakeholders because this is a pretty hefty document. >> i would say that we should move forward. i think [indiscernible] at the next meeting for stakeholders to weigh in. i suppose that there's also a part two coming
[indiscernible] -- mr. ford, could you refresh our recollection on the legislative process once we get to an ordinance we can all agree on, is that something that has to go to a ballot measure for approval. >> the recommendations would not need to appear on the ballot, but they certainly could. that would be one path. so it could either go through the board or the mayor, the traditional legislative route, or you could place it on the ballot. all four sitting commissioners would need to vote to do either one. i can tell you, as we get into
the later stages of this project and as we see what has happened or not so far with the payment of ordinance, we will be presenting you with an analysis of all legislative paths forward so you can decide what you think will be the most effective to move these policies. >> when will be the next election? i think there is one in december -- or maybe not until march? >> the primary will be in june and there is the general in november of next year. >> so june of next year. okay. >> i see the deputy city attorney. do you have comments? >> i just briefly popped in to confirm that the next scheduled election would be the june primary. just to echo something that pat has already remarked on, there
could be a mix of approaches here, so this could be accomplished through regulation instead of ordinances. it wouldn't necessarily be a legislative process at its heart, but something we can change by regulation on its own. i did want to address the [indiscernible] obligations, being that we are changing the rules applying to, frankly, all city employees. if they violate those rules, that can result in penalty or discipline. >> great, thank you. >> another step along the way. thank you very much. >> thank you for the information and clarification. so do we have a motion? >> i move it. >> second? >> second. >> so it's been moved and
seconded. >> i'm not clear on what the motion is. >> i think the motion is to [indiscernible] agenda item 10, the gift to individuals as drafted because even in the draft form, under the exemption for the s.f. airport commission, the staff left open -- oechb though the recommendation was t though the recommendation was to omit, there were a couple of options there. i imagine we can revisit it in the future when this is in draft form and what have you. i think the motion is to pass the gift report as drafted now. >> chair, might i ask a question in follow up? thank you. to clarify, is it the case that
the commission is looking for language to be drafted on the recommendation as shown in the report and as to the recommendations regarding the exceptions to the current exceptions to the airport, that you would like to see language that would accomplish either approaches there, either getting the exemptions or narrowing it or eliminating it? you would like to see the language or all of those options brought forward to the next discussion, is that correct? >> thank you, director. that was my question. i wasn't sure what we were doing. yeah, that's the question i have. >> we're not going -- my understanding is we have a couple of scenarios. one is complete omission of the existing rule. the second one is to amend the
exception rule. maybe i can clarify by saying maybe the exception rule still applies, but staff will be reimbursed by the commission. would that make sense? >> [indiscernible] -- essentially there is no gift [indiscernible] [all talking at once] -- i guess there are a couple of options i would suggest. if it's helpful for the commission to see language that would accomplish either of the options that were identified as to the airport exception, the commission could bring that back. you could also take that piece out, vote on the full matter, and separate those items out. i think either way we can
accomplish what you're looking for is to bring back both options to continue that option. i think we need to see what we can bring back to the discussion so it meets your expectations. >> i'm looking for anything to expedite the options. we are close to 1:30. would my colleagues be agreeable to adopting the gift rule, taking out the airport provision so we can address it with final language at the next meeting so we can at least allow the staff to proceed or do you just want to adopt the report as is? i'm open. i want to expedite everything right now.
>> there's plenty of time for us to address issues around the airport per se, because it comes back to us how we choose to adopt the language. i don't see a seed to hold things up for right now. >> okay. let's just move with that because mr. cohn has said he hasn't discussed what we just discussed. let's call the roll now that we have a motion and a second to adopt the gift to individuals report as currently drafted in front of us. >> i'm sorry, have we taken public comment on this matter? >> clerk: yes, we did. >> thank you for confirming.
reflects activities of the commission from june 30, 2021. we took the feedback received at last month's meeting, trying to make it a bit clearer for readability about essential elements. [indiscernible] -- >> commissioner bush. you had your hand up. >> yes, i did. thank you. this is a vastly improved version of the annual report from what we've seen. so my congratulations to the director and the staff for the work that's gone into this. i had a few addendums that i believe would improve the report.
there is nothing in here about lobbyists per se. they're in the chart, but there's not a section that says either that we've delayed [indiscernible] or going deeper into the lobbyist reports because of constraints on staff. that will be coming in the coming year. somewhere we need inclusion of mention of the fact that we're touching on the issue of lobbyists. i also think it's appropriate for us to acknowledge that we don't stand alone and apart from ethics issues, that we have to send recommendations to the city attorney and the district attorney and that we get
feedback from the sunshine ordinance task force. in various cases, we send things to other departments, like some whistle-blowers going to h.s.r. i think this makes the ethics commission more clearly the focal point, but not the exclusive point on issues having to do with ethics and compliance with city rules. i would like to see those changes included in the annual report. >> if i might through the chair respond to the commissioner. commissioner, we do have contents about the lobbyists who have registered on page 16 of the report. we do have information there and make reference throughout where
we have been working with other colleagues including citing the controller's report. i think we heard feedback and we were in my view trying to be as responsive as we could in identifying where we are working with other city agencies on our priorities. >> i think this needs to be called out more clearly. >> chair: if i may, thank you, commissioner bush, for your comments. this is the fourth time that the draft annual report is brought up for commission consideration and i think that each and every time we have made comments and suggestions. i think that staff have addressed that, but i think at some point while respecting the commissioners' comments, things
that do not need to be included in this annual report because already it's been addressed here. i would recommend that we approve this report and include the ongoing and outgoing suggestions in other items that would come up in future discussions so we don't constantly have -- hold this up because the annual report is already four months overdue. that is my recommendation. commissioner bush, your hand is still up. you want to comment? >> i'm looking at page 16 as the director referred to it. i don't see anything here that speaks to me of facebook or of
lobbyist reports. so maybe she can point more directly to that. but have we decided that we're attaching to the annual report the budget analyst recommendations and our response? >> through you, chair, if i might, we have linked to that report in the section where we talk about the budget legislative analyst office report audit as a commission. we cite to both the january report, provide a live link directly from this report, to the update we did in january of this year at the commission meeting, and also to the one we did most recently last month where we are at this point in time. although it was passed on june 30 fiscally, we wanted to provide that information.
we provided that live link, as we have for the other underlined items in the report. >> okay. >> chair: i'm going to make a motion to approve this annual report. >> second. >> chair: thank you. so let's open it up for public comment. >> clerk: madam chair, we are checking to see if there are callers in the queue. for those on hold, wait to see if you are unmuted. we are currently on the public discussion on agenda item 11. continued discussion and possible action on further revised draft of ethics commission annual report for the fiscal year ending june 30, 2021. if you have not already done so, please press star 3 to add the
public queue. you will three minutes and six if you have an interpreter. you will hear a bell go up. please stand by. >> hello. >> clerk: we have no callers in the queue. >> chair: let's take a roll. >> clerk: i know what you meant. [ laughter ]. >> we can see land coming, chair lee, hang in there. you're almost there.
>> clerk: a motion has been made and seconded. i will now call the roll. [ roll call ] >> clerk: the motion is approved unanimously. >> chair: thank you. and thank you to the director and the staff for working so hard on this report. thank you. next agenda item discussion of the executive director's report. >> thank you, chair lee. the report this month has a variety of updates for you. first and foremost, just on behalf of the staff, i do want to express our appreciation, as
you all have, to former commission chair ambrose. we, like you, have very much appreciated her vision and focus and her dedication. we owe her a deep gratitude and we're adding that on behalf of all the staff. our budget was [indiscernible] by the mayor. so we are now in the process of moving ahead with posting and developing the postings for the eight positions that we will be hiring by the end of this year, hopefully this calendar year. that is a priority for us. we have updated our racial equity action plan. that is linked with our hiring activities. we took and updated the plan for where we are at this point in time with the beginning of the
school year 2022. we wanted to provide that with an update of where things are currently and wanted to schedule that at a separate meeting. we updated that where we currently are with a focus on hiring activities. we have listed a few items regarding legislation. it was mentioned earlier, but we have a couple of links to our disclosure pages where we are looking at recall efforts and also about the district task force and how the laws apply to those individuals. finally one brief note. the city is continuing to monitor very closely about covid-19 and delta and the urgency for everybody to be vaccinated and to be able to reopen the city as well as possible and has continued to focus on an early september 7 operational date for more city
offices to reopen. we are in the process of planning that and we are looking forward to providing more information and any new information will be posted on our web page about the reopening of our physical offices for folks to access the same services as in the past in the coming months. i just wanted to highlight that for you. i'm happy to answer any questions you have at this time and any suggestions for future meetings in terms of my report. >> chair: do you know what our vaccination rate is for the office? >> i do not have that information in front of me and i'm happy to follow up if i can talking with our colleagues at d.h.r. >> what i might just report is
we did have 100% reporting by the july 29 deadline, as requested, of all staff. so we appreciated that effort and compliance. >> thank you, chair. given the current resurgence of the delta variant in san francisco and additional restrictions that the mayor just announced for indoor dining and things like that, is -- as far as you know, is a timetable for the return to the office and in-person meetings for this commission still on [indiscernible] for next month or are we still on a wait-and-see mode? >> i think it's still a wait-and-see mode. we have not heard any directions
from city hall about when commissions should start in-person meetings. the ideal date looked like it was in the fall, september or october-ish, but we haven't heard anything more recently about the reopening in the office. the city has issued an mandatory mask requirement at this point given the delta figures. i can tell you that we are following all news and all directions that the city administrators and the public health administrators issue on this front and we watch it every day. if something changes, we will alert you. at this point we don't have a basis to believe it will change. we don't expect that things won't change. we are following it closely and are following all public health directives coming our way. >> i know many companies have
preferred or delayed the return to office when after labor day there was a target date. many have postponed further. please keep us posted when the guidance comes out. i hope that they will provide guidance because this is an important issue and greater clarity is always welcome. >> thank you, commissioner chu. i appreciate that. i do -- the city is planning to be open offices, but also to recognize that there is a hybrid model that we are working towards. it will be remote work and some physical in offices. we will keep you posted as we know more and as the data approaches. >> i don't know if now is the time, but i would like to have time on the calendar at the next
meeting through the chair for a discussion of the racial equity plan that [indiscernible] -- just a suggestion. thank you. >> thank you, chair lee. i would like to associate myself with commissioner chu's call for racial equity. most of what we have in our plan has to do with internal processes, but not as much as our public-facing effort, including our facility to provide information in languages other than english. and now with the new consensus data coming out. this really underscores the need to us to provide greater facilities in languages other
than english as well as to underserved populations that may speak english, but are underserved for other reasons. the question i was going to raise earlier was touched on by the director and just in part and that is with a hybrid meeting are we talking about allowing commissioners who for medical reasons find it challenging to come to the city hall and they can participate remotely while the rest of the commission is meeting physically? do you have a policy on that yet? >> through the chair, commissioner bush, we will be following city policy on that. we have raised the question and will be exploring the options. i am confident that the city will have policies that will enable the broadest
participation by all commissioners. we will keep all the commissioners posted. we have asked that much and are looking to hearing more. >> chair: any more comments? if not, why don't we open up for public comment before we take a vote. >> clerk: madam chair, we are checking to see if there are callers in the queue. if you have just joined the meeting, we are currently on the discussion of the motion of agenda item 12, discussion of executive director's report. an update of various programmatic and operational highlights of ethics commission staff activities the since the commission's previous meeting.
>> madam chair, if i might note. this is for informational purposes. so unless action is required, there is no action on this item. >> clerk: madam chair, we have no callers in the queue. >> thank you very much. since we don't need to take any action on this item, let's move to item 13, discussion of possible action on items for future meetings. i already have down the racial equity plan suggested by commissioner chu. so that's already included for the september meeting. anything else that colleagues want to bring up? >> i don't know how to do this directly, but i think the conversation we had with the deputy city attorney and with
mr. pierce about how is it that we balance the information that we're doing on -- you know what i mean? we might need a primer, a conversation on how -- the balance between not being a rubber stamp, but also not substituting our judgment for the staff's. i think it would be good to have that conversation. >> chair: okay. >> i don't know the pithy phrase to put it on the agenda, but i think everybody knows what i'm talking about. >> chair: [indiscernible] work out the beautiful language for us for the next meeting. okay, great. >> i think commissioner bush is raiding his hand physically. >> i always am. thank you. sometimes i forget and don't lower it. i would like to add a discussion
about the stipulation agreements and what the commissioners have access to. i know the way this is set up is the guardrails on it are a pilot project, yet to be finalized. i think that i would like to see a discussion about whether we can have conversation about what goes into the stipulation agreements. so would you add that to the agenda? >> i see that as related to mine. we don't need to quibble about it here, but you know what i mean. >> chair: it's the same concept. >> i don't know if this goes in the future category, but the conversation we had about the meal exception. is there something that comes
back to us and we discuss more. i didn't want to have that or drop that. >> and i think it's important that we be given meals if everyone else is. [ laughter ]. >> chair: i think for the meals exceptions, whether the agencies pay for it or you except it [indiscernible] or even from just anybody, i think this whole meal thing really warrants a broader discussion. i want to see that as a future item. >> that's what i was suggesting. >> chair: maybe not september, but in the next couple of months. thank you. so we have three -- >> i'm sorry, i have one more. >> chair: okay. >> commissioner chu and myself and the staff, we've had a conversation and now that i think about our budget and
positions about how we are more outward facing about training and orientation to a broader group and so really have a discussion about we can't do all 35,000 employees, but i think there is some way we can have more of a presence in the front of the mind. we've met with staff and i want to make sure that that doesn't die. it doesn't need to be at the next meeting, but i want to keep it on the agenda about -- i don't want to say a campaign, but an approach and protocols for us to be more active for us being active in city employees knowing that they have ethics responsibilities and what they are. so that's an agenda item that commissioner chu and i did meet with the staff and i want to make sure that at some point there is a follow up.
it doesn't have to be next month, but it should be in the queue. >> i would like to round that out to include training for community groups and the media for resources that are available at ethics because i think that we are missing something by not getting more input and more eyes on board for what's going on. >> chair: okay. anything else? [indiscernible] -- we have six proposed agenda items. let's open up for public comment on agenda item 13. >> clerk: madam chair, we are checking to see if there are callers in the queue. for those on hold, wait until
the system indicates you are unmuted. we are currently on the motion of agenda item 13, discussion and possible action items for future meetings. if you have not done so, press star 3 to be added to the queue. you will have three minutes to add public comment or six minutes if you have an interpret. please stand by. madam chair, we have no callers in the queue. >> chair: item 14, additional opportunity for public comment on matters appearing or not appearing on today's agenda.
public comment, please. >> clerk: madam chair, we are checking to see if there are any callers in the queue. >> [all talking at once] -- >> clerk: vice chair, do you want to go ahead and discuss first before asking for public comment? i think commissioner bush wants to -- >> i want to make a comment -- i want to make sure i'm in the right window.
[indiscernible] data can be pulled up and it can look at the dollars and the geographic origin of contribution to candidates and ballot members. i think there is a treasure trove of information that can be leveraged and accessed more widely to the benefit of entire communities. >> chair: it's been a while, almost a year since we've made this presentation. okay. thank you. >> clerk: madam chair, we are checking to see if there are callers in the queue. please wait to hear until you are unmuted.
we are on agenda item 14, additional opportunity for public comment on matters appearing or not appearing on the agenda pursuant to ethics commission bylaws article vii section 2. you will have three minutes to present your comment and six if you have an interpreter. you will hear a bell when you have 30 seconds remaining. please stand by. madam chair, we have no callers in the queue. >> chair: okay. thank you very much. now we are on agenda number 15 adjournment. i don't think we need a motion for this or public comment. do we need -- >> clerk: no, we eliminated that
last month. now it's just -- yeah. but if you want -- okay -- [all talking at once] -- >> [all talking at once] -- it's going to be all downhill from here. >> we're all rolling together in the same direction, same strength, same view, to keep us afloat. thank you, my colleagues, and we attorneyed adjourned before 2:00. >> clerk: awesome job, chair lee. great job, everyone. [♪♪♪]
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