By: Todd Spitzer, Chairman of the O.C. Board of Supervisors
Bill Mitchell and Shirley Grindle present to the Ethics Committee. Pictured are Second District Committee Member Joel Angeles, Chairman and Third District Representative Chris Nguyen, Fourth District Committee Member Denis Bilodeau, and Vice Chair and First District Representative Brian Probolsky
The Board of Supervisors’ Ethics Committee held its first meeting on Tuesday, July 28th, second meeting on Thursday, August 6th, third meeting on Tuesday, August 11th and fourth meeting on Tuesday, August 18. At Chairman Spitzer’s request, the committee was formed to discuss possible ethics oversight models and bring recommendations to the Board on the formation of an Ethics Commission.
The Committee unanimously elected Supervisor Spitzer’s Senior Policy Advisor, Chris Nguyen, as Chairman of the Ethics Committee that is comprised of one representative from each office of the Board of Supervisors. The rest of the committee are Vice Chairman Brian Probolsky, Chief of Staff to Supervisor Andrew Do; Joel Angeles, Chief of Staff to Supervisor Michelle Steel; Denis Bilodeau, Chief of Staff to Supervisor Shawn Nelson; and Paul Walters, Chief of Staff to Supervisor Lisa Bartlett.
Committee members have received studied the ordinances of other Ethics Commissions in the State, including those of the Cities of Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, and San Jose. Committee members have also discussed the possible roles of an Ethics Commission, as well as the scope of its authority. The committee has examined best practices proposed by the Institute for Local Government. The committee has also analyzed the 2013-14 ethics report of the Grand Jury.
So far, the committee has heard testimony from:
- Assemblyman Matthew Harper, author of Assembly Bill 910 to allow Orange County to contract with the California Fair Political Practices Commission
- Former California Fair Political Practices Commission Chairman Dan Schnur
- Former Federal Election Commission Chairman Darryl Wold
- Shirley Grindle, author of Orange County’s campaign finance ordinance, and former Orange County Common Cause Chairman Bill Mitchell
Meetings are open to the public and are held at the Hall of Administration located at 333 W. Santa Ana Blvd., Santa Ana. The Ethics Committee is tentatively scheduled to convene again on Thursday, August 27 at 9:30 am pending approval of agenda item 79 that would extend the deadline for Ethics Committee to return to the Board with recommendations to September 19.