4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

San Diego's fragile ethics commission

Wanted: county lobbyist friendly to state assembly Dems

Stacey Fulhorst puts a hard spin on conflict-of-interest and campaign spending laws.
Stacey Fulhorst puts a hard spin on conflict-of-interest and campaign spending laws.

Fractured ethics

With official data showing a continuing slide in the enforcement of conflict-of-interest and campaign spending laws by the city’s ethics commission, the group’s soon-to-retire executive director Stacey Fulhorst is spinning hard. “In terms of enforcement, the statistics in the report reflect an ongoing trend of a gradual decrease in enforcement activities,” according to the minutes of January’s commission meeting. Fulhorst, per the document, told the commission that she “attributed this trend to the success of the Commission’s educational and enforcement efforts.”

A smile of relief? City Ethics Commission director Stacey Fulhorst is set to retire.

Few if any outside observers agree. They contend that under termed-out Republican mayor Kevin Faulconer the commission has looked the other way in a series of conflict-of-interest cases that came before them. The group’s annual performance report for 2019, released last month, shows that of 40 complaints “processed” by the agency, 19 were “approved for investigation” by the commission, joining 9 charges under investigation leftover from 2018. Of those 48 cases, 11 were “dismissed by the Commission after considering the results of staff investigations,” and 15 were disposed of by so-called stipulated settlements. Two unresolved cases remained to be dealt with in the new year. Fines against miscreants in 2019 totaled $23,100, a bit more than 2018, when the total was $22,000, but far less than previous years, including 2017’s $45,600. The crest came in 2014, with fines of $191,150.

Unlike the California Fair Political Practices Commission, San Diego’s ethics board makes its dismissal decisions behind closed doors, drawing a curtain of secrecy over what is widely seen as a highly politicized, lawyered-up business. Last year, a long-pending $4000 fine against Republican Kevin Faulconer was announced by the commission just a few weeks after Campland LLC — the developer whose contribution was at the center of the complaint against the mayor — got a lucrative city lease deal.

Meanwhile, commission vice-chair Alex Kreit, a professor at Thomas Jefferson Law School — stripped of its accreditation last November by the American Bar Association — is clinging to his commission seat. But he won’t be showing up in person for meetings. “Vice-Chair Kreit explained that he will be attending Commission meetings via telephone until he relocates to Kentucky, at which time he will no longer be a resident of San Diego and will resign,” according to the commission’s January minutes. “General Counsel Christina Cameron explained that Commissioner Kreit may continue to serve on the Commission as long as he is considered an elector of the County of San Diego and until he establishes residency and registers to vote elsewhere.”

A replacement for Fulhorst, who departs later this year, is being sought by an ad hoc committee run by commission chairman Sid Voorakkara, a longtime Democratic staffer now partner in a consulting business called Ten Page Memo, LLC. The company “specializes in strategic planning and government and community relations,” as the Union-Tribune put it in May 2013. Republican Tom Hebrank, an accountant and veteran of the city’s audit commission once said to be interested in succeeding ex-auditor Eduardo Luna, is on the Fulhorst successor committee, along with Republican lawyer Fred Kosmo.

Bye, bye Geoff

San Diego County is out with a flashy brochure aimed at recruiting a new Director of Strategy and Intergovernmental Affairs, to oversee lobbying in Washington and Sacramento, and “coordinate advocacy efforts on behalf of the County with other government agencies.” The successful candidate will be a “key influencer for impacting legislation and policy decisions for the region,” and have “experience working in Washington, D.C. on Capitol Hill and the California State Capitol.” Salary is “dependent upon the qualifications.”

Lobbyist Geoff Patnoe’s replacement at the county will need to be hip to new political realities.

Geoff Patnoe, a one-time aide to ex-San Diego mayor and GOP governor Pete Wilson, currently holds the position, to which he was appointed in 2010 by an all-GOP board of supervisors. He had worked for Republican supervisor Dianne Jacob for five years. Among other former gigs, Patnoe was director of the San Diego County Taxpayers Association, a business lobbying group, in 2002. He also once worked for the political subsidiary of Stoorza Communications on behalf of John Moores and his taxpayer-financed Padres ballpark.

With the rise of Democratic supervisor Nathan Fletcher and the advent of term limits threatening to disrupt the board’s longtime GOP majority, observers expect Patnoe’s successor will be more in line with the state legislature’s current Democratic majority. Last year Patnoe got a total of $281,848 in salary and benefits, according to TransparentCalifornia.com.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

From the mind of Luc Besson

District B13 introduced American audiences to parkour
Next Article

Elizabeth Bishop: peer of Robert Lowell and Sylvia Plath

She wished to be judged on the basis of her talent, not the fact that she was a woman
Stacey Fulhorst puts a hard spin on conflict-of-interest and campaign spending laws.
Stacey Fulhorst puts a hard spin on conflict-of-interest and campaign spending laws.

Fractured ethics

With official data showing a continuing slide in the enforcement of conflict-of-interest and campaign spending laws by the city’s ethics commission, the group’s soon-to-retire executive director Stacey Fulhorst is spinning hard. “In terms of enforcement, the statistics in the report reflect an ongoing trend of a gradual decrease in enforcement activities,” according to the minutes of January’s commission meeting. Fulhorst, per the document, told the commission that she “attributed this trend to the success of the Commission’s educational and enforcement efforts.”

A smile of relief? City Ethics Commission director Stacey Fulhorst is set to retire.

Few if any outside observers agree. They contend that under termed-out Republican mayor Kevin Faulconer the commission has looked the other way in a series of conflict-of-interest cases that came before them. The group’s annual performance report for 2019, released last month, shows that of 40 complaints “processed” by the agency, 19 were “approved for investigation” by the commission, joining 9 charges under investigation leftover from 2018. Of those 48 cases, 11 were “dismissed by the Commission after considering the results of staff investigations,” and 15 were disposed of by so-called stipulated settlements. Two unresolved cases remained to be dealt with in the new year. Fines against miscreants in 2019 totaled $23,100, a bit more than 2018, when the total was $22,000, but far less than previous years, including 2017’s $45,600. The crest came in 2014, with fines of $191,150.

Unlike the California Fair Political Practices Commission, San Diego’s ethics board makes its dismissal decisions behind closed doors, drawing a curtain of secrecy over what is widely seen as a highly politicized, lawyered-up business. Last year, a long-pending $4000 fine against Republican Kevin Faulconer was announced by the commission just a few weeks after Campland LLC — the developer whose contribution was at the center of the complaint against the mayor — got a lucrative city lease deal.

Meanwhile, commission vice-chair Alex Kreit, a professor at Thomas Jefferson Law School — stripped of its accreditation last November by the American Bar Association — is clinging to his commission seat. But he won’t be showing up in person for meetings. “Vice-Chair Kreit explained that he will be attending Commission meetings via telephone until he relocates to Kentucky, at which time he will no longer be a resident of San Diego and will resign,” according to the commission’s January minutes. “General Counsel Christina Cameron explained that Commissioner Kreit may continue to serve on the Commission as long as he is considered an elector of the County of San Diego and until he establishes residency and registers to vote elsewhere.”

A replacement for Fulhorst, who departs later this year, is being sought by an ad hoc committee run by commission chairman Sid Voorakkara, a longtime Democratic staffer now partner in a consulting business called Ten Page Memo, LLC. The company “specializes in strategic planning and government and community relations,” as the Union-Tribune put it in May 2013. Republican Tom Hebrank, an accountant and veteran of the city’s audit commission once said to be interested in succeeding ex-auditor Eduardo Luna, is on the Fulhorst successor committee, along with Republican lawyer Fred Kosmo.

Bye, bye Geoff

San Diego County is out with a flashy brochure aimed at recruiting a new Director of Strategy and Intergovernmental Affairs, to oversee lobbying in Washington and Sacramento, and “coordinate advocacy efforts on behalf of the County with other government agencies.” The successful candidate will be a “key influencer for impacting legislation and policy decisions for the region,” and have “experience working in Washington, D.C. on Capitol Hill and the California State Capitol.” Salary is “dependent upon the qualifications.”

Lobbyist Geoff Patnoe’s replacement at the county will need to be hip to new political realities.

Geoff Patnoe, a one-time aide to ex-San Diego mayor and GOP governor Pete Wilson, currently holds the position, to which he was appointed in 2010 by an all-GOP board of supervisors. He had worked for Republican supervisor Dianne Jacob for five years. Among other former gigs, Patnoe was director of the San Diego County Taxpayers Association, a business lobbying group, in 2002. He also once worked for the political subsidiary of Stoorza Communications on behalf of John Moores and his taxpayer-financed Padres ballpark.

With the rise of Democratic supervisor Nathan Fletcher and the advent of term limits threatening to disrupt the board’s longtime GOP majority, observers expect Patnoe’s successor will be more in line with the state legislature’s current Democratic majority. Last year Patnoe got a total of $281,848 in salary and benefits, according to TransparentCalifornia.com.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Tatis Jr. suffers “Jacob’s joint” injury as punishment for his anointing as Padres’ savior

Touched By An Angel
Next Article

Why was OB Pier report held back?

Popular site doomed by a sag, cracked pilings, corrosion, spalling
Comments
7

Thursday night [2/6/20], Wahlstrom called the rejection “disappointing but not surprising.”

“There’s no way the [San Diego Ethics Commission]’s staff could have reviewed all the allegations, evidence and laws even superficially and then spit out a lengthy rejection letter in just a few hours,” he said via email. “Please forgive me for believing that the fix was in and the staff’s denial letter was simply awaiting a complainant’s name and address to slap on top. All the more reason I will have to continue with my lawsuit.”

The system is rigged to punish the powerless and protect the connected.

March 4, 2020

It will be interesting to monitor how the "ethics" will remain in the '50th District', after the voting results.

March 4, 2020

San Diego Ethics Commission is as big a joke as the Public Utilities Commission.

March 4, 2020

last night am reading an article on Wikipedia Page Creation Services according to them News reported that the city Ethics Commission has opened a formal investigation into Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's acceptance of sports and entertainment tickets, which could be a no-no as their value was not reported by the city leader as gifts. Reporter John Schwada says that the commission has requested documents related to the tickets from the mayor's office.

March 5, 2020
This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.
March 7, 2020
This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.
March 9, 2020

Speaking about "ethics" --- I will bring what someone of the local media, whom has asked a newstudio --- in a newschat: "WILL THERE BE A CONA-VIRUS TAX?" (as the anchor tried to foresee what the future be of)

March 13, 2020

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close