FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Carrie Braun, Public Information Mgr., 714-788-8060, Carrie.Braun@ocgov.com
Santa Ana, Calif. (March 14, 2017) — The County of Orange Board of Supervisors voted today to hire Denah Hoard as the County’s Executive Director of the Office for Campaign Finance and Ethics Commission.
In October 2015, the Board of Supervisors reviewed the recommendations of a special committee spearheaded by Supervisor Todd Spitzer, Third District, and Supervisor Shawn Nelson, Fourth District, evaluating the establishment of a local ethics commission, and directed County attorneys to prepare ballot language for an ordinance. The ordinance was approved by Orange County voters in June 2016 with more than 70 percent voting in favor. The County then conducted a public recruitment for the Executive Director, who will oversee the five-person commission.
With more than 20 years of public service as an attorney representing public entities, Hoard comes to the County after most recently serving as the Senior Assistant City Attorney for the City of Orange. Prior to the City of Orange, Hoard held positions at California State University, Long Beach and the City of Santa Ana.
“We look forward to welcoming Denah to the County of Orange,” said Chairwoman Michelle Steel, Second District Supervisor.
“Orange County’s ethics commission will be a model for other counties to follow,” said Vice-Chair Andrew Do, First District Supervisor. “Making certain that the public’s trust in their elected public servants remains high is vitally important.”
The office of the Campaign Finance and Ethics Commission will be tasked with reviewing county conflict-of-interest statements, monitoring compliance with ethics laws, creating a compliance manual and providing training to elected officials, candidates and staffs. The office will also enforce the County’s gift ban ordinance and make certain that the County’s Code of Ethics provisions are followed.
“This is a breakthrough step and long overdue in Orange County,” said Supervisor Spitzer. “I’m confident that Denah and this commission will make a difference as an important resource providing useful guidance and oversight.”
The commission would have the authority to subpoena bank statements of campaign committees, create an independent campaign contribution tracking system and develop an annual ethics training program for County officials and staff.
“This ethics commission will inform the public, who serve as the ultimate ethics commission when they utilize the power of their voice by voting,” said Supervisor Nelson.
Orange County’s landmark campaign reform ordinance, known as TINCUP for “Time is Now, Clean Up Politics” was approved in 1978 and amended in 1992. TINCUP regulates campaign contribution limits and other campaign activity for County elected officials, including the offices of Supervisor, Assessor, Auditor-Controller, Clerk-Recorder, District Attorney-Public Administrator, SheriffCoroner,Treasurer-Tax Collector and the Superintendent of Schools.
“The voters have told us how they want oversight enforced in Orange County, and with the creation of the commission our existing ordinances and Code of Ethics will be more effective and transparent,” said Supervisor Lisa Bartlett, Fifth District.
Hoard is expected to start April 10, 2017 and will then address the timeline and process for the selection of the commissioners.