George Gascon, the District Attorney of San Francisco, seems to be going out of his way lately to damage his public image. What else could we all conclude after hearing news of the embarrassing ethics charges made against Glascon and two members of his staff after their actions at a campaign fund raiser came to light?
The charges against Gascon and two staff members were brought by the city Ethics Commission, and they total in the thousands. Gascon was ordered to pay a fine of $4,000 and Assistant District Attorney Michael Swart and chief of staff Cristine Soto DeBerry are both ordered to pay $1,400 each.
The fines stem from the actions of Gascon and his staff members at a campaign fund raising event in which they illegally solicited donations. The people at the event were city employees, which means there was a serious conflict of interest if Gascon was asking employees to contribute to a political campaign.
The fines were ordered by Ethics Commission Chairman Paul Renne. Renee reported that all three charged with the ethics violations said they were unaware that they were in violation of the rules. This comes off as an odd answer, as Gascon has attended ethics workshops and should know that he was completely out of line in soliciting funds in the way that he did. He should not have brought his staff members in on the scheme, either.
Ultimately, it looks like this whole situation is incredibly awkward at best, and now Gascon and his staff not only must pay up, but also face even more scrutiny of their unorthodox way of managing their office.
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