Frank Fung, a 20-year city appointee who served on the Planning Commission until June 2022, has signed onto a stipulated ethics agreement in which he’ll shell out a $24,200 fine.
The bulk of Fung’s penalty — $20,000 — stems from his contracting with a city entity while he was, himself, a city commissioner. The rest of the agreed-upon fine stems from Fung’s inadequate reporting of his income sources.
At issue is a 2021 sewage contract with the Airport Commission, in which Fung’s architecture firm, ED2 International, signed on as a subcontractor. Fung “signed the contractual agreement … on behalf of ED2,” reads the stipulated agreement. “The subcontract between ED2 and the Airport Commission constituted a violation of City ethics laws on Respondent’s part because Respondent was a City officer.”
Fung, additionally, failed to list his actual sources of income on financial disclosure forms in 2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022.
“I made an error,” Fung told Mission Local. “Unfortunately, I had misunderstood the ethics rules and regulations, in terms of how I read it. I was incorrect.”
Fung said that his partner entered into the contract, though he is the one who signed it. “I am the president of the company, so I signed the contract. No doubt.”
He insists, however, that he did not “receive a penny” from the contract, though his firm received just shy of $40,000. But he concedes that this is immaterial under San Francisco’s rules: “I made a mistake.”
The stipulated agreement — worked out by Fung and his representatives and Ethics Commission staff — notes that Fung proactively reached out to engineering giant ARUP in January 2022 to become a sub consultant on an airport sewer treatment plant project, and received $39,460 under the contract.
This is a violation of rules preventing any “city officer” from “entering or attempting to enter into any contract or subcontract with the City.”
Fung, additionally, failed to properly denote seven sources of income of $10,000 or greater during his tenure as a planning commissioner. While Fung affirmed that he had completed mandatory ethics training courses throughout his time in government, he and other appointed commissioners were informed during those training sessions that “City officers may not enter into contracts worth more than $10,000 with the city … this ban also applies to businesses managed and controlled by the officer.”
Fung’s San Francisco government service began in 1986, when he was appointed to the Board of Appeals, on which he served until 1988. He was appointed to the appeals board again in 2004, where he served until Mayor London Breed tapped him for the Planning Commission in 2019. His term expired on June 30, 2022.
Breed opted to not reappoint Fung last year, instead nominating Derek Braun. Mission Local is told that the mayor was unaware of Fung’s admitted transgression of city ethics rules, and simply saw him as not sufficiently in line with her pro-development views. Fung’s former colleagues didn’t universally agree with that assessment. Some said he was reliably pro-development, while others characterized him a difficult vote to predict on everything but cannabis matters, which he routinely opposed.
The Ethics Commission will vote Friday on whether to ratify Fung’s stipulated agreement.