Public Ethics Commission Staff

Whitney Barazoto

Whitney Barazoto

Executive Director

Whitney Barazoto joined the City of Oakland Public Ethics Commission as Executive Director in April 2012, with over 15 years of public service experience focused on enhancing government integrity – from ethics to efficiency – at state and local levels.  During her tenure in Oakland, Ms. Barazoto has spearheaded key projects such as the Commission’s Toward Collaborative Transparency review and vision, the drafting of the City’s newly adopted Government Ethics Act which expanded the Commission’s authority to enforce ethics laws, and the creation of, a web application visualizing campaign finance data developed in partnership with the City’s OpenOakland (Code for America) brigade. She also led the Commission’s efforts to expand its staffing, resources, authority, and independence, now codified in the newly amended City Charter, as passed by voters on November 4, 2014.

Before coming to Oakland, Ms. Barazoto was senior staff to the Commission on California State Government Organization and Economy (Little Hoover Commission) from 2008-2012, where she managed complex oversight reviews of California State policy, operations and management that produced recommendations to the Governor and Legislature. She previously served as Government Affairs Director for the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC), California’s watchdog for activities related to campaign finance, conflicts of interest, lobbyist registration, and gifts to public officials.   Prior to the FPPC, Ms. Barazoto worked as an aide in the California State Legislature, managed a county government program, and investigated theft and fraud in the private sector.

She holds a B.A. in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of California, Berkeley and a J.D. from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law.

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Milad Dalju

Deputy Director/Chief of Enforcement

Milad Dalju joined the Public Ethics Commission after serving as an attorney with the Enforcement Division of the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC).  In that role, he prosecuted violations of California’s campaign finance and ethics laws and represented the FPPC in state and federal court.  He previously worked at the Sacramento City Attorney’s office, the Public Defender’s office, and for a civil rights attorney. Prior to his legal career, Mr. Dalju worked at Commission Junction, a multi-national affiliate marketing company.

In his spare time, Mr. Dalju volunteers as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), advocating for the best interest of children in juvenile court dependency and wardship proceedings.  He previously provided guidance and mentorship to at-risk high school students as a mentor in the Sacramento Law and Public Policy Academy, and he served on the Federal Pro Bono Panel to provide pro bono legal services to inmates.

Mr. Dalju holds a B.A. in Global and International Studies and German Studies from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a J.D. from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law.

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Suzanne Doran

Lead Analyst

Suzanne joined the Public Ethics Commission (PEC) in January 2016 as a Master of Public Policy candidate at Mills College and graduate student intern. In that role, she spearheaded a project to create a performance measurement system to assess the Commission’s progress toward outcomes intended by 2014 City Charter changes, which is now being implemented as a pilot project. Suzanne is currently fronting PEC efforts to develop tools and resources to enhance disclosure and use of Oakland campaign finance and ethics-related data. Suzanne is a Bay Area native and longtime Oakland resident. Her previous work includes providing research and analysis for labor and non-profit organizations.

Suzanne holds a B.A. in Rhetoric with an emphasis on human rights discourse from the University of California, Berkeley and a Master’s in Public Policy from Mills College.

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Jelani Killings

Ethics Analyst

Mr. Killings was hired as an Ethics Analyst in February 2016 to lead the Commission’s ethics and campaign finance education program, providing education, facilitating advice, and assisting Commission clients in understanding and complying with Oakland’s campaign finance and ethics laws. He joined the Commission in October 2013 as a volunteer with a strong passion for community outreach.  He has extensive experience with community engagement and he brings a variety of prior experience in business policy compliance, marketing, customer service, and organizational efficiency. Active in his Pittsburg community, Mr. Killings is currently serving as an elected city council member for the City of Pittsburg.

Mr. Killings holds a B.A. in Business Administration from Clark Atlanta University and a Masters in Public Administration from California State University East Bay.

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Ana Lara-Franco

Commission Assistant

Ms. Lara-Franco joined the Commission in January 2016, bringing a passion for community service and for helping Oakland citizens access the information and services they need. She previously worked as a Library Assistant for the Oakland Public Library system since 2003, helping library patrons access information and library materials. She also participated in library programming and assisted in the remodeling of the Teen Zone at the Oakland Main Library where she conducted outreach and promotion for teen events.

As the Commission Assistant for the PEC, Ms. Lara-Franco now manages the Commission’s administrative office functions to support the work of staff and Commissioners, and she provides customer service to our community and clients, including those who are subject to the Commission’s laws or who wish to submit a complaint of a campaign finance, transparency, or ethics violation.  

Ms. Lara-Franco was born and raised in Oakland and graduated from Oakland Public Schools. She is bilingual in Spanish and English and considers herself bi-cultural. After attending Laney College, she transferred to the University of California, Berkeley, where she graduated with a B.A. in Chicano Studies. 

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Simon Russell


Simon Russell joined the Public Ethics Commission in March 2016 after serving as a Special Investigator with the Enforcement Division of the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC).  In that role, he led investigations into suspected violations of California’s campaign finance, ethics, and lobbying laws, including some of the FPPC’s highest-profile cases of recent years.  Prior to his time at the FPPC, Mr. Russell worked as a criminal defense investigator in the Bay Area and Los Angeles.  He also has extensive volunteer experience with at-risk youth, both in California and overseas.

Mr. Russell holds a B.A. from the University of California, Santa Cruz, an M.Sc. from the London School of Economics, and a J.D. from Golden Gate University School of Law.  He is a member of the California State Bar.