Andrea Shorter, City Commissioner, Fined $800 by State Political Body

Andrea Shorter.jpg
Misunderstandings abound...

Andrea Shorter, the longtime city commissioner who spearheaded a group of well-funded domestic violence activists that drove Supervisor Christina Olague from office, has been fined for failing to report her own sources of funding.

The Fair Political Practices Commission yesterday approved an $800 fine for Shorter, a member of the city's Commission on the Status of Women, for neglecting to report sources of outside income while serving as a city commissioner in 2008, '09, '10, and '11.

Shorter told SF Weekly "I've amended the forms and there was a misunderstanding in terms of what was instructed. I've gone on with my life." Former Board president Aaron Peskin, who filed the complaint with the FPPC earlier this year, reiterated earlier claims that "anybody with a basic junior high school education can figure out these rules.

"It's very clear. You don't need a lawyer. It's like it says: If you make more than however many dollars, you have to report the source of income."

Shorter's filings with the city's Ethics Commission were not flagged in those four offending years.

Also, in a coordinated effort, near-identical complaints were filed against Shorter with both the state FPPC and the city's Ethics Commission -- on the same day. Calls to Ethics have thus far gone unreturned, but it appears that no action has been taken against Shorter.

This is not the first instance in which simultaneous filings to the FPPC and Ethics have resulted in action from the former body and no discernable activity from the latter. In January, the FPPC chided former supervisorial candidate David Lee for failing to report his income while he served on the Park and Recreation Commission from 2009 to 2012.

Bob Planthold, who filed the Ethics complaints against both Lee and Shorter on the same day Peskin filed on the state level, said he's received no word from the city agency that any action has been taken. SF Weekly 's calls have not yet been returned.

Peskin described Lee and Shorter as "the tip of the iceberg," and said they were enabled by a derelict and ineffectual Ethics Commission. "Ethics is broken and need serious fixing," he says. "This should have been dealt with immediately by the Ethics Commission. The reason people like Shorter and dozens of others think they can get away with it is the Ethics Commission is not discharging its duty."

Shorter said she mailed the FPPC a check "months ago," even though the state body only yesterday officially approved the fine. "It's done. This is old news."

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Jan Blum
Jan Blum

Fine does not begin to address the flaunting of the rules. Multiple it by 10,000 to make the message heard.

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