Editorial: The Ethics Commission fiasco


This city desperately needs aggressive enforcement of the political reform laws.

EDITORIAL The San Francisco Ethics Commission is a serious mess, and if Director John St. Croix can't turn things around — quickly — he needs to resign and make room for someone who can.

Ethics has badly damaged its reputation in recent years by hounding small-time violators from grassroots campaigns and ignoring the major players who cheat and game the system as a matter of practice. A couple of festering examples:

In 2004, then-Ethics Director Ginny Vida and Deputy Director Mabel Ng ordered the staff to destroy public records that pointed to malfeasance on the part of the Newsom for Mayor campaign. The records — which the Newsom campaign sent to the commission by mistake — suggested that the newly-elected mayor was illegally diverting money from his inaugural committee to pay off his campaign debt.