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The Lt. Governor's Office

Monday, Mar. 7, 2011

The announcement by Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom that he will not open an office in the San Francisco state building but will instead take space at the private, invitation-only Founders Den for entrepreneurs raised eyebrows over possible conflicts of interest and lack of accessibility.

Newsom was invited to set up his office at the Founders Den by managing partner Zachary Bogue, who contributed the maximum amount allowed under law to Newsom's primary and general election campaign for lieutenant governor. 

In an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, Ethics Center Senior Fellow in Government Ethics Judy Nadler said:

"I think that it raises a red flag and poses some important questions about fairness and how campaign relationships may have an impact on officeholder actions," said Judy Nadler, former mayor of Santa Clara and senior fellow of government ethics at Santa Clara University's Markkula Center for Applied Ethics.

"Being in the environment where the lieutenant governor is there and being part of an incubator that has basically been blessed by the lieutenant governor gives all persons who are involved a real advantage over people who weren't invited to become part of this," she added.

Tags: conflicts of interest, government ethics