Many government agencies have laws which seek to prevent conflicts of interest or the appearance of conflicts of interest, involving employees who resign from government service and go to work for private companies. There may be times when these private companies have pending matters where that employee might have played an influential role.
The Political Reform Act of California provides that a government employee shall not participate in a decision in which he or she has a financial interest. The term “financial interest”, has been interpreted to include a promise of future employment or income. These types of laws are often referred to as “Revolving Door” laws or prohibitions.
The Postgovernment Ordinance of Los Angeles County, which was adopted by the Board of Supervisors on March 7, 2006 (motion by Sup. Yaroslavsky) serves as an extension of the Political Reform Act.
The Postgovernment Ordinance prohibits the negotiation of any agreement for future employment or promise of income between specified County officials and those persons or entities with County matters pending before that official or any body of which the official is a member. The Ordinance also permanently prohibits certain paid lobbying activities of former County Officials concerning specific matters in which the former official was personally and substantively involved. In addition, the Ordinance prohibits certain paid lobbying activities by a former elected County official or Chief Executive Officer on any matter pending before any County agency, or by a former non-elected County official on any matter pending before his/her former agency, for a period of one year after separation from County service.
The Executive Officer of the Board of Supervisors is responsible for processing complaints and allegations of violations of the Ordinance and initiating and overseeing the investigation and disposition of such alleged violations. The Executive Officer is also responsible for the administrative enforcement of the Ordinance.
Under the Postgovernment Ordinance, the Executive Officer does not have the authority to investigate, review, or receive complaints in other areas such as sexual harassment claims, workplace violence, abuse of County work hours, or other types of misconduct and/or fraudulent activities from County departments or employees. These types of complaints should be directed to the proper investigative authority.