Follow the Money Hard to do at Ethics Commission

by Larry Bush on 02/12/2011

in Paper Trails

Follow the city’s parking contract controversy here:

MTA Director Nat Ford’s personal attorney, Steven Kay, who is also the attorney for Willie Brown and the attorney who helped negotiate Phil Matier’s gigs, is at the center of charges of contract interference on the city’s parking garages, in a fight that puts Matt Gonzalez on the other side of the legal bar. KGO’s Dan Noyes broadcasts the story.

See earlier SF Weekly story by Matt Smith with additional details here:

See San Jose Elections Commission record of Pacific Park Management fined $5,000 for contributions exceeding the limit in the San Jose Mayor’s election,  2006, at:

See also Matt Gonzalez account of the controversy and allegations of influence peddling:

See SF Ethics Commission report of Pacific Park $500 contribution to City Attorney Dennis Herrera on September 29, 2009:

Lobbyists Controversies, Reporting Updated

San Francisco Lobbyist law now allows more lobbyists, including the Chamber of Commerce, to avoid public disclosure of their lobbying . See update in Bay Guardian story on Willie Brown and Rose Pak:

Lobbyist for Waste Management’s interest in San Francisco garbage contract questioned on lobbyist registration, Competitor Recology expresses its doubts about it all.

San Francisco launches web-based data on registered lobbyists in a system much improved over the past, but which is faulted for failing to link lobbyists and campaign contributions for easy access. ““Everything is always a work in progress,” St. Croix is quoted as telling SF Public Press. “This is all we have for now. If it turns out there is a demand for something, we can come up with ways to provide it.”

Ethics Not Following The Money

San Francisco Ethics claims no harm, no foul with expense paid travel for city officials, including from entities receiving city funds. “It’s not really a loophole,” says Ethics’ John St. Croix. Story in SF Chronicle, following full report in San Franciscans for Clean Government.

Firefighters and police officers are among those not filing disclosures of moonlighting jobs, despite a city law that requires the reports. The law is intended to thwart conflicts of interest. A fire department spokesperson says, “We don’t really track secondary employment.” San Francisco Examiner story.

Is Ethics Ethical?

San Francisco Ethics Commission appointment raises questions on ethics. Two commissioners from the same law firm, and with a past record of one supervising the other. See San Francisco Weekly article here:

SF Ethics Commission oust crusading staff member in charge of fines collection, rewrites jobs to end requirement of 12 months experience with campaign finance.



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