Guardian: America’s Cup Ethics Waiver Raises Questions

San Francisco Bay Guardian

Mayoral staff member to direct America’s Cup Organizing Committee

04.07.11 -| Rebecca Bowe |

The San Francisco Ethics Commission voted unanimously on March 14 to waive a pair of ethics rules in order to allow Kyri McClellan, a project manager in the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development (OEWD), to become executive director of the nonprofit America’s Cup Organizing Committee (ACOC). The fundraising arm of the America’s Cup effort, ACOC’s role in bringing the world-famous sailing regatta to San Francisco is to secure corporate donations to offset city costs . . .

And what justification was given for waiving the ban on former employees receiving compensation from city contractors?  ‘For that one, in the law itself, it says the commission may waive it … if it would cause extreme hardship,’ Ng explained. ‘There would be a hardship, because … this is a great opportunity for her, and there was a short timeline for her to do it.’

Pressed on that point, Ng confirmed that the ‘hardship’ in this case was the possibility of being barred from a great job opportunity, not the threat of financial impact or job loss.”

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