On May 1 the Oakland Public Ethics Committee (OPEC) Executive Director ,Whitney Barazoto, visited the regular Grand Jury Association (GJA) meeting. Barazoto reviewed the progress of the OPEC since it was established by a charter amendment passed by Oakland voters in 2014. The committee is staffed by seven volunteers appointed by the Mayor, City Attorney and the Commission itself. It’s jurisdiction includes the city ethics act, Brown act violations, city campaign regulations, sunshine ordinances, and conflicts of interests. The commission also administers the Oakland election public financing, campaign reporting and lobbyist registration processes. In addition, OPEC works closely with the state FPPC for campaign reporting issues.
With the passage of the charter amendment, the commission is funded for six positions from the General Fund. Both the staff and commission work on ethics training and monitoring other ethics commissions throughout the state. Barazoto presented the annual report and the latest newsletters, check them out below.
The GJA looks forward to working with OPEC on commission issues that extend outside the city, along with the capability of filing ethics complaints on issues we see. THANKS Whitney for your time, it was a pleasure to learn about another entity concerned with ethics and integrity of our public officials.