Thursday, June 3, 2010

Former State Bar Pilot Chief to be Fined for Accepting Gifts From Pilots

Patrick Moloney, former Executive Director of the state Pilot Commission for the Bays of San Francisco, San Pablo and Suisun faces a $4,000 fine from the state Fair Political Practices Commission for receiving gifts from the San Francisco Bar Pilots – a group representing the pilots the commission oversees – in excess of the allowed gift limits.

According to the FPPC, Maloney "was provided, and frequently made use of, free, secure, waterfront parking gifted to him by the San Francisco Bar Pilots Association" at the pilot association's Pier 9 offices in San Francisco throughout 2006 and 2007. The FPPC valued what they determined were two gifts, each representing a violation of state law: one for a year's parking valued at approximately $2,292, and the second for a year's parking valued at approximately $2,976. The amounts of the two gifts were determined by the FPPC and based on the fair market value of parking in the waterfront area of the pilots' offices.

As Executive Director of the state pilot commission, Moloney was prohibited under state law from accepting any gift or gifts from a single source with a fair market value of more than $360 in 2006 and $390 in 2007.

The matter came to light during an audit conducted of the state pilot commission by the state Auditor General.

Moloney, who left the state pilot commission in October 2009, admits to accepting the gifts.

While citing Moloney's lack of any previous violation as a mitigating factor in reaching a penalty amount, the FPPC also found, "The potential for a conflict of interest appears to be high since the likelihood of [Moloney] influencing a decision regarding San Francisco Bar Pilots was high."

The Fair Political Practices Commission will meet on June 10 to approve the action, which calls for fining Moloney $4,000 for the two violations. Moloney could have faced a $5,000 maximum fine for each violation, for a total maximum penalty of $10,000.