The Ethics and Elections Team provides legal advice to the Ethics Commission, Department of Elections, Elections Commission, Ballot Simplification Committee, and Citizens Advisory Committee on Elections. The Ethics and Elections Team also advises San Francisco government officials, employees, and departments on conflicts of interest issues and other governmental ethics laws. The Team drafts legislation requested by the Board of Supervisors that concerns ethics and/or elections and they serve as editors of the Good Government Guide, a publication that aims to promote a general understanding of laws that regulate San Francisco government.
Serving as its attorney, the Team provides the San Francisco Ethics Commission with legal advice regarding the interpretation, administration, and enforcement of local ethics laws and laws that govern the conduct of City officials and employees. In addition, they assist the SFEC with advice letters and regulations as well as investigate and prosecute complaints alleging violations of laws (including laws prohibiting conflicts of interest, compensated advocacy and disclosure of confidential information).
In preparation for elections, the Team works with the Department of Elections and the Elections Commission to ensure that the City’s elections practices comply with State and Federal laws. Although elections take place during a span of one or two days, the preparation for elections is a year-long process. Several months before the elections are held, the Team deals with an abundance of legal issues related to personnel, contracting, continued compliance with State and Federal laws, voter outreach, and litigation.