Board Issues Notices of Probable Cause for Apparent Lobbying Violations
At its Special Meeting held February 24, 2017, the Board voted to issue notices to four (4) individuals that there is probable cause to conclude that they violated the City’s Governmental Ethics Ordinance for engaging in lobbying, as defined, but then failing to register as required. The Board also issued notices to the apparent lobbying clients of these individuals that there is probable cause to conclude that they also violated the Ordinance by hiring or retaining individuals to lobby but who then did not register as lobbyists as required by law.
The Board has afforded each apparent lobbyist and client the opportunity to rebut the Board’s findings, on or before March 13. If they are unable to rebut them, they are subject to a determination of a violation of the Ordinance and to fines: for lobbyists, the fine is $1,000 per day, beginning on the sixth business day after they first lobbied, regardless of whether they lobbied any further; for their clients, the fine is between $500 and $2,000.
The Board also issued a notice of probable cause to an already-registered lobbyist who failed to disclose lobbying activity as required on a quarterly activity report. If that lobbyist is unable to rebut the Board’s finding on or before March 13, the Board will impose a fine between $500-$2,000 and require the lobbyist to amend the quarterly report.
The Board also voted to find that there is no probable cause in two matters involving activity taken on behalf of non-profit organizations.
The names of the lobbyists and clients involved these matters shall remain confidential until and unless the Board is authorized to make their names and violations public, in accordance with the provisions of Ordinance.
The Board is scheduled to meet next on March 15 at 3 p.m.