The Public Ethics Commission is hiring!

Ethics Investigator Class Spec
Date Posted: August 27th, 2020 @ 12:00 AM
Last Updated: January 20th, 2021 @ 7:59 PM

The City of Oakland Public Ethics Commission (PEC) is a City agency consisting of 6 staff members and governed by a 7-member citizen board to promote compliance with City ethics, campaign finance, lobbying, and government transparency laws. The Commission was strengthened in recent years to work toward creating a more ethical culture in Oakland City government. The Commission staff has developed a comprehensive approach that incorporates education, engagement, disclosure, and enforcement activities to drive compliance and, where needed, impose penalties for violations of the law.


The Commission seeks applicants for a part-time, temporary investigator position to assist the Commission in conducting investigations of potential violations of City ethics, campaign finance, and lobbyist registration laws as part of its strong enforcement program. Duties include the following:

  • Perform preliminary review of allegations to recommend course of action; to include review of relevant documents, complainant and respondent party statements, and other sources of information to aid investigation.
  • Recommend scope, timing, and direction of investigations and draft an investigation plan for each case opened and determine appropriateness for dismissal, full investigation, or hearing.
  • Analyze and compile facts and data for complaint cases; formulate objective recommendations based on detailed analysis; and interpret rules, laws and regulations pertinent to the investigation.
  • Obtain and examine official documents such as campaign records and disclosure statements, lobbyist disclosure reports, statements of economic interest, business records, contracts and meeting agenda materials to secure or verify information concerning suspected violations.
  • Contact and interview individuals, public servants, members of the public, candidates, lobbyists, and other persons who may have information related to Commission investigations. Take statements, depositions, affidavits, and testimony.
  • Collect, assemble, examine, and analyze relevant records and data. Report facts and retain evidence in official case files.


Any combination of education and experience that is equivalent to the following minimum qualifications is acceptable.


Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university in criminal law, public policy, political science, journalism, finance, accounting, or a related field.


Three years of progressively responsible professional investigative experience, preferably in administrative, civil, or criminal law or in investigative journalism. Experience with campaign finance, lobbyist, transparency or ethics laws and regulations is highly desirable.


Knowledge of:

  • Investigative techniques and procedures.
  • Principles and techniques of preserving and presenting evidence.
  • Interview methods and best practices.
  • Provisions of the Oakland Campaign Reform Act, Oakland Government Ethics Act, Lobbyist Registration Act, Sunshine Ordinance, Limited Public Financing Act, and related statutes and regulations administered or enforced by the Public Ethics Commission is desirable.
  • Report writing and preparation of accurate, complete, and concise investigative reports.
  • Personal computer and software applications.

Ability to:

  • Conduct investigations and detect and verify alleged violations.
  • Identify, locate, acquire, and verify obscure, complex, and hidden documentation.
  • Obtain information and evidence by observation.
  • Interview witnesses or suspected violators; document and record those examinations.
  • Analyze and evaluate statements of witnesses or suspected violators and weigh facts impartially and accurately.
  • Prepare complete and concise reports and correspondence; secure and present evidence effectively.
  • Maintain sensitive and confidential records.
  • Communicate effectively in writing and orally with the public, including City departments and State agencies.
  • Use a personal computer and software applications.
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with those contacted in the performance of required duties.

To apply, send your resume and cover letter to Attention Executive Director Whitney Barazoto.

Deadline: Until filled