Organization & Budget
Organization of the Commission
During 2017, the commission had 24 authorized staff positions. This represents an overall staffing reduction of approximately 10% starting from fiscal year 2002-2003. The commission’s authorized positions include 14 attorneys, 9 support staff, and 1 temporary staff position.
The Director-Chief Counsel heads the agency and reports directly to the commission. The Director-Chief Counsel oversees the intake and investigation of complaints and the commission examiner’s handling of formal proceedings. The Director-Chief Counsel is also the primary liaison between the commission and the judiciary, the public, and the media. Victoria B. Henley served as Director-Chief Counsel from 1991 until her retirement in December 2017. Gregory Dresser began to serve as Director-Chief Counsel in January 2018.
The commission’s staff counsel include intake attorneys who are responsible for reviewing and evaluating new complaints and investigating attorneys who are responsible for conducting staff inquiries and preliminary investigations.
The commission appoints an attorney to serve as examiner during formal proceedings. Trial Counsel serves as examiner during formal proceedings, aided by Assistant Trial Counsel. The examiner is responsible for preparing cases for hearing before special masters, including presenting the evidence that supports the charges and briefing. The examiner also presents cases orally and in writing in hearings before the commission and the California Supreme Court.
One member of the commission’s legal staff, the Legal Advisor to Commissioners, is solely responsible for assisting the commission in its deliberations during adjudication of contested matters and for the coordination of formal hearings. That attorney does not participate in the investigation or prosecution of cases and reports directly to the commission. Janice M. Brickley was appointed to the position in August 2007.
The Commission’s Budget
The commission’s budget is separate from the budget of any other state agency or court. For the current 2017-2018 fiscal year, the commission’s budget is $4,965,000. In the 2003-2004 fiscal year, and again in the 2008-2009 fiscal year, the commission’s budget was reduced by 10%. None of the 20% reduction in funding has been restored.
The commission’s constitutional mandate is the investigation of allegations of misconduct and the imposition of discipline. The members of the commission receive no salaries, only reimbursement of expenses related to commission business. Because the performance of the commission’s core functions is dependent upon the services of its legal and support staff, the commission’s budget is largely allocated to personnel expenses. Reduction in the commission’s budget have resulted in staffing reductions.
The commission’s final budget appropriation for the 2016-2017 fiscal year was $4,889,000. Final expenditures totaled $4,881,770. Approximately 38% of the commission’s budget supported the intake and investigation functions and approximately 27% was used in connection with formal proceedings. The remaining 35% went toward sustaining the general operations of the commission, including facilities, administrative staff, supplies, and security.