STATE OF MINNESOTA
ETHICAL PRACTICES BOARD

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Friday, February 23, 1996

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Ladyslipper Room, Ground Level
Centennial Office Building

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MINUTES

The Board meeting was called to order by Chair Sillers.

Members present: Anderson, Owens Hayes, Rodriguez, Sillers, Wilson
Others present: Olson, Goldsmith, Larson, Maloney, staff; Murray, Becicka, counsel.

Ms. Carpenter notified Board and staff at the January 26th meeting that she would be unable to attend the February meeting.

MINUTES (January 26, 1996)

Board members discussed and agreed to certain corrections to the draft minutes.

Ms. Rodriguez' MOTION: To approve the January 26, 1996, minutes as corrected in discussion.

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed by four members present (Owens Hayes absent.)

CHAIR'S REPORT

Board Confirmation Hearings - Confirmation hearings for Mr. Anderson, Ms. Carpenter, Ms. Rodriguez, and Ms. Wilson have not been scheduled to date.

Governor's Appointment - A Notice of Appointment was received in the Board office on February 15, 1996, appointing Sidney Pauly to the Board, replacing Douglas Sillers. Ms. Pauly's appointment takes effect March 1, 1996.

Next Board Meeting - Thursday, March 21, 1996, at 10:00 a.m.

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR'S REPORT

Legislative Report - Ms. Olson reported that the legislature was considering bills to accomplish the following: prohibit the use of money raised through the contribution refund program for lobbying purposes; no longer require the Board to send economic interest statements to county auditors; require candidates signing public subsidy agreements to abide by Minn. Stat. Ch. 211B., for violation the candidate would have to return all or a portion of the public subsidy received; require lobbyist registration number on contribution check from lobbyist to a candidate; change the name of Ethical Practices Board to Board of Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure; change the definition of opponent for the purposes of waiving expenditure limits; and require that all rules adopted by notice published in December, 1995, be reviewed by the legislative committees responsible for the adopting agency.

Advisory Opinion Request Withdrawn - Ms. Olson reported that the request for Advisory Opinion #219 was withdrawn by the requester by letter dated February 12, 1996.

Correspondence - Carol Noteboom, Executive Director, Minnesota Institute of Legal Education (MILE)

Board members reviewed correspondence from Ms. Noteboom received in the Board office on January 29, 1996, requesting permission to use the Board's list of lobbyists to mail two notices about an upcoming election law seminar sponsored by MILE.

Ms. Rodriguez' MOTION: Move to permit MILE to use the Board's list of lobbyists for the requested mailings.

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed (see copy of correspondence attached.)

Enforcement Report

Mr. Maloney presented the following enforcement matters for Board action:

. Nonfiling of Required Amendment

Patricia Awada, treasurer, (Jon) Grunseth for Governor Campaign Committee, 1-2310 Gov - This matter is before the Board for the authorization of a third certified letter to be sent for failure to sign the report of receipts and expenditures due January 31, 1996, for the period covering January 1 through December 31, 1995. Ms. Awada has been sent two notices, including notice that the matter would be referred to the Board at its meeting of February 23, 1996. Staff had telephone contact with Ms. Awada and she indicated the report would be signed and sent.

Ms. Owens Hayes' MOTION: Move to send Third Official Notice of Delinquency to Ms. Awada.

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

. Nonfiling of the amended Registration and Statement of Organization

Jual Carlson, candidate, The Committee to Elect (Jual) Carlson Minnesota State Auditor, 1-3164 Aud - This matter is before the Board for the authorization of a third certified letter to be sent for nonfiling of an amended registration and statement of organization. The former treasurer has resigned. Staff sent correspondence to the candidate requesting him to amend the registration and statement of organization showing the new treasurer of this committee and having the treasurer sign the amended registration. Mr. Carlson has been sent two notices, including notice that the matter would be referred to the Board at its meeting of February 23, 1996. Staff called on February 7 and February 14, 1996, and Mr. Carlson indicated an amended registration and statement of organization would be sent.

Ms. Rodriguez' MOTION: Move to send Third Official Notice of Delinquency to Mr. Carlson.

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

. Nonfiling of the Lobbyist Disbursement Report due 1/16/96

This matter is before the Board for the authorization of a third certified letter to be sent for nonfiling of the lobbyist disbursement report due 1/16/96. All but 23 of the 2,957 lobbyists report due have been filed. Each lobbyist listed below has been sent a compliance letter and two certified notices of delinquency, including notice that the matter would be referred to the Board at its meeting of February 23, 1996. Staff has attempted telephone contact with each of these lobbyists.

David O. Allen (Resources for Child Caring Incorporated), Synarvia Jane Buckhanon (Learning Disabilities of Minnesota), Kenneth Collins (Citizens for a Safer Minnesota), Albert Garcia (Arrowwood Development Corporation), Albert Garcia (Cedar Towing Incorporated), Albert Garcia (Classic Affairs dba Sheiks Gentleman's Club), Albert Garcia (Dominium Management Services Incorporated), Albert Garcia (Firefighters Association of Minneapolis #82), Albert Garcia (Knutson/Barton Mallow), Albert Garcia (Miller & Schroeder Financial Incorporated), Albert Garcia (Minneapolis Fire Department Relief Association), Albert Garcia (Minneapolis Taxi Federation), Albert Garcia (Municipal Parking Incorporated), Mary Lewis Grow (Citizens for a Safer Minnesota), Kenneth E. Hardy (National Association Min Cont-Emerg Small Bus Program), Henry Helgen (Crown Health Care), Ciannat M. Howett (City of Moorhead), Marla Ivan (HealthPartners), Mark Mallander (Association of Metropolitan School Districts), Lee Ann Mitchell (Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless), Mark Nygaard (R-Kids - Remember Kids in Divorce Settlements), Thomas Paradice (Fight for Minnesota Incorporated), and Philip W. Schrader (Citizens Alliance for Legislative Moderation CALM).

Ms. Wilson's MOTION: Move to send Third Official Notice of Delinquency to Mr. Allen, Ms. Buckhanon, Mr. Collins, Mr. Garcia, Ms. Grow, Mr. Hardy, Mr. Helgen, Ms. Howett, Ms. Ivan, Mr. Mallander, Ms. Mitchell, Mr. Nygaard, Mr. Paradice, and Mr. Schrader.

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

Mr. Maloney presented a report regarding payment of the following late filing fees and civil penalties:

. Payment of late filing fees

George W. Bateman, treasurer, (George) Bateman for Representative, #1-2493 37B, $263.70 (paid through Chapter 13 bankruptcy) partial payment for the return of public subsidy received in 1990 (see January 26th minutes);

Mary Lewis Grow, (Citizens for a Safer Minnesota), $50 - for the late filing of the Lobbyist Disbursement Report due 4/17/95; and

Thomas Paradice, (Fight for Minnesota), $100 - for the late filing of the Lobbyist Disbursement Report due 7/17/95.

All payments have been deposited in the general fund of the state under Minn. Stat. §10A.34.

. Payment of Civil Penalty

(Skip) Carlson Volunteer Committee, #1-3319 52A - The Board investigated in executive session on December 8, 1995, the committee's inadvertent acceptance of aggregate contributions, during the special election in House District 52A, from certain types of contributors, which exceeded the applicable aggregate contribution limit. Representative Carlson entered into a conciliation agreement with the Board to remedy the matter that was signed by the Board Chair on January 6, 1996. On January 31, 1996, the (Skip) Carlson Volunteer Committee paid a civil fine of $68, two times the excess amount.

(Steve) Smith Volunteer Committee, #1-2385 34A - The Board investigated in executive session on December 8, 1995, the committee's inadvertent acceptance of aggregate contributions during 1994, from certain types of contributors, which exceeded the applicable aggregate contribution limit. Representative Smith entered into a conciliation agreement with the Board to remedy the matter that was signed by the Board Chair on January 3, 1996. On January 31, 1996, the (Steve) Smith Volunteer Committee paid a civil fine of $400, two times the excess amount.

All payments of civil fines have been deposited in the general fund of the state under Minn. Stat. §10A.28.

Financial Report and Agency Deposits - Mr. Goldsmith submitted reports covering July 1, 1995, through January 31, 1996.

ADVISORY OPINION REQUESTS

Requests for the following advisory opinions are nonpublic data.

Advisory Opinion #229 - Official's participation in trip awarded to spouse

The Board reviewed a draft response to the advisory opinion request from an official who asks if an official whose spouse is awarded a trip for two by the spouse's employer, a lobbyist principal, can accompany the spouse on the trip without giving consideration to the employer and without violating the gift prohibitions of Minn. Stat. 10A.071.

Ms. Rodriguez' MOTION: To approve Advisory Opinion #229 as drafted.

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

SUMMARY: ADVISORY OPINION #229 as signed by Chair Douglas Sillers February 23, 1996: A trip for two awarded by a lobbyist principal to its employee for superior performance is not a gift to an official who is the employee's spouse and who accompanies the employee on the trip.

Advisory Opinion #230 - Application of Minn. Stat. Chapter 10A to activities

of political committees and principal campaign committees

Mr. Anderson recused himself from the discussion on this matter.

The Board reviewed a draft response to the advisory opinion request from an attorney who on behalf of clients, asks several questions relating to election year activities of political committees and principal campaign committees under Minn. Stat. Chapter 10A.

Ms. Rodriguez' MOTION: To approve Advisory Opinion #230 as drafted.

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed by four members (Anderson abstained.)

SUMMARY: ADVISORY OPINION #230 as signed by Chair Douglas Sillers February 23, 1996: A political committee created solely to conduct campaign activities and make approved expenditures on behalf of two identified candidates is a committee controlled by the candidates and is prohibited by Minn. Stat. 10A.19. The individual principal campaign committees of two candidates may have the same officers and committee members and may conduct joint campaign activities if they are conducted in such a way as to avoid violation of applicable provisions of Minnesota Statutes Ch. 10A.

Requests for the following advisory opinions are public data.

Advisory Opinion #231 - Sarah Janecek

The Board reviewed a draft response to the advisory opinion request from Sarah Janecek, a registered lobbyist, who asks about contractual relationships between lobbyists and officials as defined under Minn. Stat. 10A.071 for monetary compensation.

Ms. Wilson's MOTION: To approve Advisory Opinion #231 as drafted.

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

SUMMARY: ADVISORY OPINION #231 as signed by Chair Douglas Sillers February 23, 1996: A contract for services is not a promise of future employment and payments made for services provided under a bona fide contract are not gifts under Minn. Stat. 10A.071.

Advisory Opinion #232 - Sarah Janecek

The Board reviewed a draft response to the advisory opinion request from Sarah Janecek, a registered lobbyist, who asks if a baby shower and gifts given to an official are prohibited under of Minn. Stat. 10A.071.

The Board discussed whether gifts from guests at a baby shower hosted by a lobbyist are requested by the lobbyist for the purposes of application of Minn. State. 10A.071.

Ms. Rodriguez' MOTION: To approve Advisory Opinion #232 with the alternate response on issue 3 as drafted.

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

SUMMARY: ADVISORY OPINION #232 as signed by Chair Douglas Sillers February 23, 1996: A lobbyist may not give a gift of refreshments to officials attending a baby shower. A gift given by a lobbyist at a baby shower for an official is a prohibited gift to the official. A lobbyist may not request others attending a baby shower for an official to give gifts to the official.

Mr. Anderson's MOTION: Direct staff to draft a resolution informing the legislature of possible unintended results of the application of Minn. Stat. 10A.071.

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

LEGAL COUNSEL'S REPORT

Counsel Murray reported on the following legal matter in which the Board is represented by Richard Slowes, Assistant Solicitor General:

Rosenstiel et. al. v. Sillers - No change since last report.

Counsel Murray reported on the following legal matters:

Ethical Practices Board v. William Davis - No change since last report.

Miscellaneous Pending Matters - Counsel Murray provided the Board with a written report on the status of other matters pending with the Attorney General's office (see attached written report.)

Counsel Murray also reported that Joan Wood will be filing to renew a judgment from 1986 on Donald Koening.

STANDING COMMITTEE REPORTS

Personnel Subcommittee Report - No report.

Publications and Forms Subcommittee Report - No report.

Legislative Recommendations and Rules Subcommittee Report - The proposed Rules are back in final form from the Revisor's Office. Staff is preparing the document package for review by the Attorney General's office.

OTHER BUSINESS

Correspondence - Leon Rice, Director, Employment Ombuds Service

Board members reviewed correspondence from Mr. Rice received in the Board office on February 21, 1996, and discussed whether the letter should be handled as an advisory opinion request or through a staff response.

Ms. Wilson's MOTION: Direct staff to respond by letter to Mr. Rice.

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed (see copy of correspondence attached.)

Resolution

Ms. Owens Hayes moves on behalf of the Board:

"RESOLVED, that the Ethical Practices Board recognizes Douglas H. Sillers for his years of service from 1992 to 1996 as a member of the Board and offers this resolution in appreciation for his investment of time and energy in support of the mission and objectives of the Minnesota Ethical Practices Board."

Ms. Rodriguez' MOTION: Moves to accept the resolution.

Vote on MOTION: Unanimously passed.

Board Officers

Staff was directed to contact Ms. Rodriguez as acting chair until new Board officers are elected.

REPORT FROM EXECUTIVE SESSION

INVESTIGATION OF AMERICAN LUNG ASSOCIATION ORIGINALLY COMMENCED AS THE RESULT OF A COMPLAINT BY THE MINNESOTA GROCERS ASSOCIATION

The Board found that probable cause existed to believe that the Respondent had violated the provisions of Minn. Stat. Chapter 10A by failing to report a disbursement of $15.50 to its lobbyist for reporting purposes. The Board ordered that disclosure be made, that the appropriate report be amended and that the record of the investigation be brought forward into public record (see findings attached.)

ADJOURNMENT

Meeting adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,

Carolyn Rodriguez, Acting Chair

(minutes by staff)

If you would like to receive any attachment referred to in these minutes please contact the board office.