Supervisors Appoint Lawyer as Second Member of Ethics Commission

Greenberg Gross LLP

H. Josh Ji was nominated to serve on the county ethics commission by Supervisor Michelle Steel.

Orange County supervisors, without discussion, on Tuesday appointed the second member of the still-unformed countywide ethics commission.

H. Josh Ji, an attorney with Greenberg Gross LLP, was appointed unanimously after he was nominated by Supervisor Michelle Steel to serve on the Campaign Finance and Ethics Commission.

The five-member commission will be tasked with providing independent enforcement of the county’s campaign finance limits, lobbying law, gift ban and code of ethics.

Voters in June 2016 overwhelmingly ordered the panel created. But more than a year later, the county supervisors – who would be subject to possible enforcement penalties by the commission – have yet to form it.

The only other commissioner appointed so far is Peter Agarwal, who inaccurately claimed in his ethics commission application that he is on the governing board of a national association, and repeatedly defended his description as accurate, despite acknowledging he doesn’t serve on the governing board but instead is one of the group’s 17,000 members.

Ji, who was admitted to practice law in December, said in an interview Monday he will bring his experience as an attorney to the table, including looking at regulations, codes and case law and applying them to the facts in front of him.

“I’m very honored,” Ji said. “I’m just looking forward to serving the community and doing what I can.”

His employer was hired this year to publicly advocate to supervisors on behalf of a company seeking a county contract to oversee services for private jets at John Wayne Airport.

Ji said he looked into his employer’s representation of ACI Jet and was told it would not present a conflict of interest for him to serve on the county ethics commission.

None of the supervisors, including Steel, spoke about Ji’s appointment at the meeting. His appointment was made on a 4-0 vote, with Supervisor Shawn Nelson absent.

Steel’s appointment documents for Ji say his term of office is “to be determined.”

Voters approved specific rules for the commission’s terms of office, which require initial terms of one, two, and three years – chosen at random – in order to set up staggered three-year terms later on.

But supervisors have wanted to change that, to potentially grant each supervisor the power to choose how long their appointee serves. This would make it so the commissioners “serve at the pleasure of the supervisor” who appointed them, Supervisor Andrew Do, who supports the changes, said last month.

While some local governments conduct public interviews with candidates for commission appointments, which allows residents to observe the process, county supervisors have opted for a secret approach to the ethics commission appointments.

They refuse to say who has applied to serve on the ethics commission, and haven’t conducted public interviews of applicants.

Instead, the public first learns who is up for appointment at the absolute last time that supervisors can legally wait to disclose it – the Friday afternoon before a Tuesday supervisors’ meeting.

Ji said he would decide ethics issues fairly on the commission.

“I’m an attorney and I just apply the law to the facts, and that’s what I would do,” he said.

Nick Gerda covers county government and Santa Ana for Voice of OC. You can contact him at

  • Ed Romero

    OK, but lets see if he selects someone to represent the County of Orange at the next State Seminar on Ethics in County Government like that former Asst. Chief Probation Officer who was caught Shoplifting 8 times, who used her position of Power to HIRE AND PROMOTE her numerous Lesbians friends to positions that should of gone to more qualified applicants, who came to the RESCUE of any of Drug Dealing Deputy Probation Officers like the one arrested 4 times for Marijuana for Sale (felonies) and that other Deputy Probation Officer arrested 5 times for Drunk Driving, all they had to do was make a Drug Delivery in a Brown Paper Lunch Bag right into that Asst. Chief Probation Officer’s Office WHILE ON DUTY and all was FORGIVEN. She also came to the RESCUE of any of the Lesbian friends that was caught doing things that the rest of us would have been fired for, like that Clerical Female that use to follow the YOUNG girls into the Restroom and get down on her knees and TAKE A PEEK, or those 2 Lesbian in the elevator one day, as I entered the elevator one of them was GRABBING AND THRUSTING her vagina at the other and say “I’ve got THE MEAT for you right here”, I was TRANSFERRED for complaining about that and NOTHING was done to them. So I hope this new member of the Orange County Ethics Commission does a better job then the Board of Supervisor’s did back then when they selected that dirty Racist Drug Dealing, Marijuana Smoking Pig to represent the County of Orange.

  • LFOldTimer

    So they appoint some wet-behind-the-ears lawyer admitted to the Bar in Dec/2016 to finger political crooks in the OC? lol.

    Seriously. How old is this kid? He looks like he’s 17.

    But I’m sure he’s an independent thinker and won’t be influenced by senior attorneys in a profession where connections mean everything.

    • Heatherjscott


      Google is paying 97$ per hour! work for few hours and have longer with friends & family!
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      • verifiedsane

        Google must be hiring relatives of the BoS to no work, great pay and benefits employment contracts… 🙂

  • LagunaTri

    So, a commissioner can’t work for a firm that has any public contracts, but can work for a firm that lobbies for firms to secure contracts. Got it. That arm’s length distance (?) between a sleazy lobbyist and the electeds apparently makes all the difference. ETHICS Comission: 0 for 2. Unbelievable. Unconscionable.

    • LFOldTimer

      But Shirley tells us to keep the faith and not to be so negative. lol.

  • verifiedsane

    There’s a new BoS “ethics commission” puppet in town….take your seats citizens….this laughable dog and pony show has begun….

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