Lee under pressure for contract disclosure law violations

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By Lisa Carmack

Mayor Ed Lee has allegedly failed to file 67 reports detailing contracts worth $50,000 or more with the San Francisco Ethics Commission.

Lee has come under attack by fellow candidate City Attorney Dennis Herrera, who claimed that he has “repeatedly delayed filing his required disclosure forms.”

“I’m not aware of specific delays yet, but any time we get a notice and our campaign is reviewed, everything we’re supposed to file as far as I know, we’re in compliance,” Lee said when asked about the claims.

According to city law, any elected official who approves contracts worth $50,000 or more is required to file a report within five days of approval. The requirement serves as a safeguard against illegal campaign contributions, since the city’s Campaign Finance Reform Ordinance bars officials from receiving contributions from vendors within six months of contract approval.

“It just came to my attention today,” said the executive director of Ethics Commission John St. Croix. “We’re gonna have to talk to him and his folks about why these reports have been excessively late.”

On Oct. 5, Herrera publicized records listing each time Lee failed to comply with the ordinance since becoming interim mayor in January of this year.

Whether or not punitive actions will be taken is up to the Ethics Commission. “In this case we have to investigate first,” said St. Croix, adding that while the agency would look into the matter, he could neither confirm nor deny the existence of an official investigation. “I’m not aware of any other entity that files late on a routine basis.”

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