tv [untitled] January 30, 2013 2:00am-2:30am PST
>> the garden contains plants referred to by william shakespeare's plays and poems. located near the academy of sciences, shakespeare's garden was designed in 1928 by the california spring and wild flower association. here is a truly enchanting and tranquil little garden tucked behind the path of a charming rot iron gate with romantic magic. the overarching cherry trees, the gorgeous big walkway and brick wall, the benches, the rustic sun dial. the pack picnic, lovely bench, enjoy the sunshine and soft breeze and let the
>> good evening and welcome to the regular meeting of the san francisco ethics commission. we'll begin by take the roll. commissioner studley. >> thank you all. here. >> commissioner hayon? >> here. >> commissioner hur? >> here? >> commissioner liu? >> here. >> all members being present, first item on the agenda is public comment on matters appearing or not appearing on matters of the ethics commission. >> good afternoon, commissioners and of course, stop the corporate rate of the public library and don't accept money from the friends of the
library. you may remember that rights were violated on june 4th, 2009. you made a finding that she was guilty of official misconduct and made a reference to the mayor that the mayor should consider terminating her appointment on july 12th, 2011. you followed up with a direct request to the mayor, that he respond to you in some -- with some sort of explanation on september 24th, 2012. i followed that up with an immediate disclosure request to the mayor on december 3rd, requesting any documents reflecting any internal consideration or any possible -- any documents indicating a response to your follow-up
letter. what i received was an email that a constituent of supervisor kim, named andrew adams, which he sent to jane kim on september 28th. that was the only thing that i received. what is significant is that mr. adams' contacted information was redacted in that response. nothing else. no indication at all that they intended, had considered any possible response to you or any consideration of a possible response to you. you have to realize that redacting that contact information is the city hall equivalent of flipping somebody the bird. it's been established by the
sunshine ordinance task force and courts in state that a person can't invoke somebody else's right to privacy by redacting their contact information and once it's waived, it can't be reinvoked again. so they have no grounds to redact that contact information and they know it. this would be the equivalent as if the finding of official misconduct against ross mirkarimi was responded with well we're friends with ross mirkarimi and we don't have to give you an answer and, in fact nobody said that. in this instance it's a badge of honor. they don't have it give you a reason. they haven't given you a reason. it's not official miscould be duct if it's only the sunshine ordinance. and that is the message. thank you very much. >> commissioners, as the
previous speaker mentioned jul gomez has been elected to her position [twao-eupbs/] since you found her unanimously to have violated her responsibility under the sunshine ordinance and yes, the mayor has refused to even deal with it and it's interesting over the last year, he didn't mind spending $200,000 of money to get ross mirkarimi out of office and yet with one of his own appointees, you sent him a recommendation and he ignores it and he ignores that. well, boys and girls, can anyone spell hypocritical? very frankly one of the reasons i have been adamant about the library commission is the fact that they come before the public and they lie. they present number relating to the finances of friends of the
public library and through public records request i found they have absolutely nothing to back those numbers up. we're talking $10 million that they have claimed that the friends gave to benefit the public library, and they can't back up the numbers. and yet, they come before the public and say oh, yes, they are doing a wonderful job. now at the minimum, that is misrepresentation. if i am on a board or commission, and i go before and i present finances as part of a public record, and i say oh, yes, these are good numbers. and it turns out that i don't know what i'm talking about, that is dereliction of duty as far as i'm concerned and malfeesance of office. you say show us something to prove that and they are just silent. we went before the government
general bond oversight committee and said the number here is not a valid number. and they asked some questions of the chief financial officer of the library and she admitted yes we don't have anything to back that up. at that point it was only $6 million and now it's $10 million and it went from $1.6 million in january of last year to over $10 million by the end of the year. and none of that was contemporaneous documents. it's all of them going back now and trying to justify all the lies that they have been telling to the public in the prior years. and i have also got a sunshine order against the city librarian for withholding -- primarily because he didn't want it exposed that he didn't have any idea whether those numbers were presented were
valid. >> good afternoon commissioners i'm patrick -- here on my own time as a private citizen. first, i am going to ask mr. renne to recuse himself when you got to my item given the article about mrs. renne's foundation in last month's westside observer. second i would like to know when this commissioner is publicly going to inform members of the public what the delay is with the mayor? removing miss gomez. you have let that matter drag on for a year, four months after your determination and you are letting the mayor just ignore this commissioner entirely. during your attention to allen garsman's analysis of the
october 22nd hearing on my two matters, he outlined 16 questionable steps about how the october 22nd hearing progressed. first point getting around the ethics commission's representation to the san francisco city attorney, san francisco district attorney, me as the complainant and other respondents, and the san jose city attorney's office. that this commission cannot adjudicate cases involving its own executive director. no problem, next issue. getting around your blatant conflict of interest, playing both judge of in the appointing authority for your respondent executive director. no problem, next issue. having the commission chair,
that would be mr. hur, review the san jose city attorney's report and formed an opinion on the merits of my case before he allowed me as the complainant to provide my response or to hear the case in an open public meeting. and then mr. hur commented to deputy executive director of ethics, who reports to the ethics director, that the respondent in the two cases, is there any reason why we can't just release the san jose's analysis about why the complaint fails? no problem, next issue. you just charged right through that october 22nd hearing with all sorts of irregularities of how you conducted that hearing.
no. 11, allowing chair hur, who should have recused himself because of his opinion that was on the record before the hearing began, to vote on the substantive portions involved. thus improperly providing the three required votes. >> hi. my name is paula danish and i have a serious issue with the san francisco arts commission. i have a street artist's permit and i have had a lot of problems and they have violated the sunshine ordinance repeatedly over so many years. and it's really affected my life. i have been speaking to your ethics office, about problems posting minutes of the executive committee. they haven't posted in years.
and i just hope that you really do a thorough investigation on them, because there is a lot of things wrong with the way they run the meetings. thanks. >> the next item on the agenda is changes to our enforcement regulations, mr. st. croix would you like to introduce the matters? >> these are largely housekeeping matters in following up on the changes that the commission has already made. and are pretty straightforward and i think self-explanatory. >> there are three decision
points. the first is shall the commission approve the addition of section 3d as set forth on page 3 of the enforcement regulations? the second is to approve the deletion of other references to the sunshine ordinance and the enforcement regulations. and the third is to change the definition of "business day" to comply with the sunshine regulations that we propagated previously. these seem to me to be pretty straightforward administrative changes. is there any discussion on these? anything from the city attorney? public comment on this item? >> [tkpwao-frpl/], my name is
dr. derrick kur, my comment is not specific to the sunshine ordinance modifications, but does refer to section 6a of your enforcement guidelines. my recollection is that the ken civil grand jury when they did their report, they pointed out having two commissioners calling for an issue to be calendared is too high a threshold. so at the discussion of the ethics commission, my recollection is that the commission agreed that one commissioner could question the executive director's dismissal and have the item calendared. but here in your enforcement
guidelines it sill says thereafter any two or more members of commission can cause an item to be calendared. so i'm just raising the issue of whether it's two commissioners or whether it can be just one commissioner? thank you. >> commissioners, director of san francisco open government. you may wonder sometimes why i come here and seem so angry. well, because i have 14 or orders of determination from the sunshine ordinance task force finding various commissioners, boards, city employees in violation of the ordinance and basically when you got when you get an order of determination is a body who will then look at it and simply say we don't give a damn what the sunshine ordinance task force says, we're not going to do it. we don't care what the law says; we're not going to do it and when it's referred over
here, up until this effort op your part to actually enforce it, none more enforced that jul gomez which was basically ignored by the mayor. basically what we're talking about here is denial of due process. the law san francisco gives the citizens the right whente it they have been deadline the opportunity to make public comment, the avenue of going to the sunshine ordinance task force and asking for their assistance. but what good does to do you? you go there and get the orders of determination, and yet, other city agencies including this body, just ignore those determinations. know your rights under the sunshine ordinance is printed on every agenda of every commission and board in this city and every meeting. and yet when people who actually do know their rights
under the sunshine ordinance and come before the bodies and simply ask to have their constitutional rights respected, for heaven's sake, they get met with open hostility. i went to a meeting, a public meeting earlier this month. and every time i got up to speak one of the commissioners simply crossed his arms across his chest and rolled his chair away from the deis and back into the corner. and when i get done speaking he came back to the table. and you say well, yeah, mr. hart, you deserve that. no member of the public deserves that. because what it is is sending a clear message to members of the public, we're going to say the words we want you to be here and we want you to participate, but we don't mean it. earlier this evening the arts commission had a meeting where
they tried to blame an expense of the sunshine ordinance task force complaints on certain individuals, when it was them, sending people who couldn't answer the sunshine task force questions and couldn't respond appropriately and simply ignored the law and dragged it out as along as they could. blame the victim. >> good evening, david pelpil. i only had a comment on the titles actually, the current regulations are entitled and i think it would help in some ways to add "handling," before "investigations," and more to the point on the new
regulations regarding sunshine ordinance matters, i would actually title that "ethics commission regulations for handling alleged violations of the sunshine ordinance." i think it's confusing to suggest that the regulations for violations, when they are not necessarily violations. it's the procedures for handling alleged violations. so those are my only comments about titles. the substance is good and fine and i commend it to you for your approval. thanks. >> patrick again. commissioner hur and honorable commissioners, i respectfully request you ignore mr. david pilpel. as you well-know complainants start out filing a complaint. they spend endless hours waiting for their items to be
scheduled and calendared and they go through a rigorous process of evaluating alleged complaints, but when the sunshine task force finishes their determination they do not title and forward to you an alleged order of determination. they send you an order of determination. don't put the word "alleged" in your title of the new proceedings. because the point the sunshine case ends up in a referral for enforcement, at ethics, it's no longer an allegation. thank you.
>> on the -- with respect to the title of the ordinance, or our response to the ordinance and our handling of the ordinances, i think the titles are fine. i don't know if any other commissioners have thoughts. my view is that we do handle some sunshine complaints directly. we handle some that the task force would have made a determination on, but ultimately i think the regulations are clear and the title accurately reflects more or less what we're trying to do with them. thoughts? >> i agree. i mean, i suppose we could say ethics commission regulations for complaints made under the sunshine ordinance, but i think violations is fine too. either way. i think it's fine.
>> any other thoughts? does the city attorney have any view on that? >> john givener deputy city attorney. your current titles are fine from a legal perspective, the proposed title is fine from the legal perspective. the one thing i would say that you shouldn't amend any portion of the sunshine enforcement by enforcement regulations tonight because that is not on your agenda. >> mr. st. croix, can you respond to dr. kur's question about 6a? >> dr. kerr is absolutely correct the bar is now one commissioner member can calendar a complaint. i'm not sure why this copy went out, but it's typographical or an old copy, but it's one that has already been voted on and in effect.
>> thank you. any other discussion from the commissioners on this agenda item? is there a motion to approve the changes to the regulations for investigations and enforcement proceedings? >> is moved. >> second. >> all in favor? >> aye. >> any opposed? hearing none the motion passes. the next item on the agenda is discussion and possible action on reports submitted by lisa herrick formerly of the san jose city attorney's office. as you will recall and was referenced previously, on october 22, 2012 we held a hearing on this matter relating to ethics complaints brought by
mr. shaw. we also reviewed and considered paper submitted by mr. shaw and heard argument from mr. shaw on the matter. during that hearing, we asked miss herrick to review a number of determination if they should be disclosed. she subsequently conducted the review and identified set of emails that she believes should be produced in redacted form. so this item agenda is then to discuss whether those emails should be produced as redacted, and if so, whether that has resulted in a willful violation
of the sunshine ordinance by the executive director? any comments from the commissioners on this matter? >> do i not get a five-minute rebuttal on this? through the discretion of the chair? >> mr. met shah i will give you a little bit of extra time during public comment, but i would like to hear from the commissioners. >> thank you. >> as i recall, this relates tangentially to the subject matter of the two complaints, which i recused myself for reasons stated. the issue being raised in this particular instance does not appear to involve the same or
doesn't go to the merits of the two underlying complaints. but i would propose that i not participate in the disposition of this question. >> i have no objection to that, commissioners? objection to that? i assume there is no voter action we need to take with respect to commissioner renne's recusal. >> you should vote to. >> so moved. >> second. >> public comment on whether commissioner renne should recuss himself? >> thank you for your integrity, mr. renne. >> all in favor? >> aye. >> opposed? hearing none, the motion passes. commissioner renne shall be recused from discussion of this matter.
any other views from the commissioners on whether this document should be disclosed? >> i would find it helpful if someone would recap the standards for redaction? what is disclosable? and by what standard one would determine when redacting is appropriate? or unless our -- unless what we're being asked to do is purely provide these documents as redacted, or not at all? >> so my understanding and i will perhaps pass it on to mr. givner to go over the standard. i have printed out for myself the relevant sections. but to recap procedurally what
happened, the miss herrick reviewed and determined that the redacted portion was privileged. that was covered by state law and/or local ordinances that protect the disclosure of this information, including c3.699-13a. her proposal i believe is to produce the information as redacted. >> not having that section at my fingertips, or in mind, and i don't -- but it's hard for me to make a judgment on this without knowing what that privilege -- knowing more about the nature of that privilege that would require that certain information be
redacted. >> i am going back to her memo as well. this is the longer one. >> thanks. >> following up on commissioner studley's question, is the privileged standard that we're looking at the one we're talking about all notes, preliminary reports? controller's benchmark studies, audits, investigations and other reports shall be confidential? >> that is -- >> that is the first part of it. >> first part. >> and the second quarter part of the standards is records of any investigation shall be considered confidential information to the extent permitted by state law. >> correct. and then there is the evidence code 1040 section defining "official information."