Mayor Jung created titles for people who were not city employees and allowed them to use the city seal on their business cards. This was discovered at a meeting with Mayor Jung when his associate Daniel Yoon Jae Park arrived and handed out business cards that said he was the Mayor’s Cultural Arts Counsel.
According to Ordinance 2543, it is unlawful for any person to make or use the seal of the City, or reproduction thereof, for any purpose other than for the official business of the City, its Council, officers, or departments. The City Clerk of the City shall be the official custodian of the official seal of the City. (Ord. 2543 (part), 1985).
It may be illegal, but the City Ordinance does not say what, if any, consequences there are. Addressing such issues before a controversy can indeed be a good strategy. It avoids “calling out” someone who may have concluded that the lack of a policy means that “anything goes.”
When asked if he knew that the use of the City seal without authorization was illegal, he said, “It is not illegal; it is just frowned upon. I have let them know they can not use the seal.”
Another consideration weighing in favor of having an agency policy is that technology makes it easier for anyone to access aspects of an agency’s official identity. Web browsers and scanners can capture or copy agency seals, logos, letterhead, and similar items. Restrictions on using an agency’s seal are common, but without consequences, the City seal and logo seem to be all fair game for anyone’s use.
The City Attorney said that there are only consequences if the DA decides to prosecute.