The City Ethics Commission administers and enforces City laws regarding governmental ethics, campaign finance, and lobbying. To assist with compliance, the Commission issues advice to individuals who are affected by those laws.
Types of Advice
The Commission offers two types of advice: informal and formal. Informal advice is provided in person or by telephone, and formal advice is provided in writing. Commission staff are happy to respond informally to your general questions about City ethics laws, but keep in mind that informal advice does not provide immunity in enforcement actions.
If you need binding advice, you should request formal advice before taking any action. Your request must be submitted in writing and must provide specific facts about your circumstances. Under Los Angeles City Charter Section 705(b), a City official or employee who requests and receives formal advice, and then acts in good faith on that advice, is not subject to administrative penalties in an enforcement action. Immunity is limited to the person who requested the advice.
In addition to informal and formal advice, the Commission also issues formal written opinions, which interpret and clarify the law. All opinions and advice letters are available to the public.
Advice letters that have been issued to others can provide helpful guidance about how the City’s ethics laws apply to specific circumstances. Remember, though, that only the person who originally requested the formal advice has enforcement immunity.
The Commission provides online access to formal advice letters from 1999 to the present. You will need Adobe Acrobat to view the letters. To view the Commission's formal advice letters, please click the following link:
For copies of advice letters prior to 1999, please contact the Commission staff at (213) 978-1960 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have questions about how the City’s campaign financing, lobbying, or governmental ethics laws apply to you, please contact us. You may request advice from the Commission in any of the following ways: