Sunshine Smackdown: I’ve Got Your Ethics Commission Right Here!

A recent city ruling poses the question: Is complete transparency in government always a good thing?

By Joe Eskenazi

What do you do when the Ethics Commission is deemed to have acted unethically?

This koan-like scenario recently became a reality for San Francisco. Myrna Lim, a former supervisorial candidate, was shocked to recently discover that the Ethics Commission had declined to file conflict of interest charges against her following a lengthy investigation — an investigation of which she was never informed.

When she attempted to obtain the documentation behind the investigation, she was told it was off limits (and would remain so until the end of time). Yet a ruling last week by the Sunshine Ordinance Task Force stated that Ethics was out of line in spurning Lim’s request.

For the city, this is a potential bombshell…

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