The director of the Mayor’s Office of Housing, Doug Shoemaker, is looking to leave his post in city government and become the president of Mercy Housing California, a well-known affordable housing development group that has a number of contracts with The City.
But for Shoemaker to be able to take the job, he would need the Ethics Commission to waive a long-standing voter-approved ethics rule.
But on Monday, the Ethics Commission did not vote to grant the waiver. Three of the five commissioners were in attendance at the meeting. Two were tending to support the waiver while one was inclined to oppose it. Since the waiver was doomed — it would take three votes to approve, a majority of the body, not just a majority of those present — so no action was taken.
Now the commission might hold a special meeting this month, before its regularly scheduled meeting next month, to take up the issue again. Shoemaker wants to leave the Mayor’s Office and start working his new job sometime this summer.
Shoemaker is seeking a waiver because he signed off on five contracts with Mercy Housing California in the past 12 months, and the voter-mandated rules prohibit city workers from being employed by any firm within a year of having been involved in awarding that organization a city contract.
There are five members who sit on the Ethics Commission, and each one is appointed by a different government entity, the Mayor’s Office, the Assessor-Recorder’s Office, the Board of Supervisors, the City Attorney’s Office and District Attorney’s Office.
The mayor’s appointment, Beverly Hayon, and the Board of Supervisors appointment, Dorothy Liu, signaled they would approve of the waiver. While Assessor-Recorder Phil Ting’s appointment to the commission, Benedict Hur, spoke against granting the waiver.