Monday, May 12, 2008 | The proponents of Proposition C argue an auditor selected by the mayor who also controls the committee with the authority to fire that appointee will be independent.
We need only to look at the recent actions of the Ethics Commission and its executive director to understand how flawed that reasoning is. The ethics commissioners are selected by the mayor who in turn appoint the Ethics Commission executive director. This process is strikingly similar to that proposed for the city auditor in Prop. C.
The Ethics Commission has served a useful purpose in the last few years by recommending closure in loopholes in the city election campaign ordinance and important changes to the lobbying laws.
However, its enforcement of ethics laws, particularly in the last few months, shows how much influence the mayor has this less than independent body. The Ethics Commission has chosen to investigate politically-motivated allegations against the city attorney that are clearly baseless and should have been rejected by the executive director. This investigation has also temporarily blackened the reputation of a widely- read blogger, Pat Flannery, who has frequently exposed wrong doings in the Mayor’s Office and reported the mayor’s “f— you Steve” comment.
The Ethics Commission is also currently investigating an environmental lawyer, Cory Briggs, who is despised by the mayor’s office because he stands up for the public interest, on another trumped-up charge.
In contrast, the executive director refused to investigate the Sainz profane e-mail and the delivery by Fred Sainz to Union-Tribune editor, Bob Kittle, of the I.P. addresses of City Attorney computers. She also refused to investigate the retaliatory firing of assistant COO Rick Reynolds by his immediate superior, COO Jay Goldstone, for doing his job as defined in the municipal code, and the ensuing coverup by Fred Sainz, Kris Michelle and the mayor himself.
This is exactly what will happen with audits that don’t satisfy the Mayor’s political needs if Prop. C passes and a compliant auditor is appointed.
VoteNo on Prop. C.