In particular, he cites the perception of unfairness when routine late fees and fines, which he handles, are wrapped up in campaign investigations which are conducted, in secret, by another sector of Ethics and can result in different monetary penalties. Over the years the standards for fines have dissolved as secret deals have been cut to settle investigations.
"Since my arrival in 2002, my mantra for penalties has been consistency, consistency, consistency," Luby writes. "By routinely being a stickler for standards over the years, I have detected the Commission management prefers greater flexibility when regarding when to grant a waiver. In particular, waiver standards have been applied inconsistently when late fees and forfeitures are incorporated with investigative penalties."
The CPTA asked for a task force to fully vet solutions to some of Ethics' problems, which Commissioner Emi Gusukuma said she'd be willing to join. "This is a great first step," she said of the Nov. 8 meeting, which she and Commissioner Jamienne Studley attended. "But it's still a big, meaty issue."
John St. Croix, executive director of Ethics, said the agency will be taking these issues seriously. "There's a lot of frustration because people don't know what our processes are," he said. "If we are being unfair, we can normalize our processes."