Organization & Budget
Organization of the Commission
Beginning July 2020, the commission had 28 authorized staff positions. The commission’s authorized positions include 17 attorneys, 10 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. Gregory Dresser serves as Director-Chief Counsel.
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. Emma Bradford serves as Legal Advisor.
The Commission’s Budget
The commission’s budget is separate from the budget of any other state agency or court. For the current 2020-2021 fiscal year, the commission’s budget is $6,809,000.
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 2019-2020 fiscal year was $5,452,000. Final expenditures totaled $5,430,829. Approximately 39% of the commission’s budget supported the intake and investigation functions and approximately 28% was used in connection with formal proceedings. The remaining 33% went toward sustaining the general operations of the commission, including facilities, administrative staff, supplies, and security.