Mayor, auditor appoint first 4 members of voter-backed Ethics Commission

The mayor and auditor announced on Friday their choices for the city’s first Ethics Commission, a body created by a charter amendment in the November election.

Mayor Robert Garcia selected Kimmy Maniquis, the former executive director of the California Conference for Equality and Justice, and Laura Som, a Cambodian refugee who founded the MAYE Center, which promotes healing through meditation and yoga. Auditor Laura Doud selected Susan Wise, an attorney and former harbor commissioner, and James Shotwell, director of corporate compliance at Southern California Edison.

If approved by the City Council, those four members will then select the remaining three members of the commission. All can serve a maximum of two, four-year terms.

The Ethics Commission was created by Measure CCC to monitor and implement government ethics, ensuring leaders are following the provisions of the city charter and statutes regarding campaign finance, lobbying, conflicts of interest and governmental ethics.

The appointees:

Susan Wise: Wise is an attorney and has been a Long Beach resident since 1974. She has served as a Port of Long Beach Harbor Commissioner and as a governing boardmember of the Alameda Corridor Transportation Authority. Susan has been awarded the Soroptimist International of Long Beach Award, Woman of Distinction Award; Long Beach Bar Association, Lawyer of the Year Award; and Legal Aid Foundation of Long Beach, Sommelier d’Esprit Award. She received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Chicago.

 James Shotwell: Shotwell has been a resident of Long Beach for the past 13 years. He is director of corporate compliance and information governance at Southern California Edison. He is responsible for the promotion of an ethical culture and the development, implementation and oversight of company-wide programs for compliance management, affiliate compliance, privacy compliance, information governance, and policy management. James received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Arizona College of Law and is a part of the Ethics and Compliance Initiative (formerly ECOA).

 Kimmy Maniquis: Maniquis is the former Executive Director of CCEJ, the California Conference for Equality and Justice, an organization based in Long Beach that works to transform individuals and communities, heal conflicts and build unity. She has over a decade of service to CCEJ, having led its flagship youth programs including Building Bridges Camp and programs throughout Southern California. She is currently serving on the Human Relations Commission.

 Som Rathmeny Eare (Laura Som): Som was 10 when she immigrated to Long Beach from a refugee camp in Cambodia. She founded the MAYE Center which promotes individual healing through time-old techniques of meditation, agriculture and gardening, yoga, and education. She is the co-chair of Equity for Cambodians to end Gerrymandering. Laura has a biochemistry degree from the University of Riverside.

After the nominations are heard by the Personnel and Civil Service Committee they will be forwarded to the full council for consideration at its next scheduled meeting.

Those interested in being considered for the remaining openings should submit an application for consideration.

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