Meet Our Expert - John Cetor, Esq. - State and Federal Communications

July 9, 2024  •  

Meet Our Expert – John Cetor, Esq.

John Cetor, Esq., an expert Manager of Compliance Services, comes to us from the University of Akron School of Law, Class of 2015. After having his own practice, then working in bankruptcy law, he joined the State and Federal Communications, Inc. team in 2019.

John started off in our Research Department, where his focus was the Southeastern region of the United States. He moved to our Compliance Department in 2022. Currently, he spends much of his time working with clients in Maryland and Illinois, among other jurisdictions.

“My two biggest jurisdictions are Illinois and Maryland, so a lot of my time is devoted to those two states. Illinois more so because they report twice a month. In Maryland, essentially every big municipal government, as well as every county, has their own registration and reporting requirements,” he explained.

Our Compliance Managers work with numerous jurisdictions, all of which have different rules for reporting and disclosing lobbying activity.

“In some jurisdictions, like Chicago, there are very strict rules. Then I have some jurisdictions which are more laissez-faire about it, just making sure you’re disclosing everything without many rules to navigate,” he said.

According to John, a fulfilling part of his job is the opportunity to help clients one-on-one in situations like confusing reporting requirements or potential violations of lobbying laws. When that happens, our Compliance Managers explain what is going on to the client, so they know how to handle it, how to move forward, and how to avoid such circumstances in the future.

“It starts pretty much like everything else,” he explained. “A few emails or phone calls just to figure out what happened, and whether something’s going to happen, or something already happened.”

It’s not uncommon for confusion to arise when lobbyists are working in a new jurisdiction, laws change, or perhaps the lobbyist wasn’t aware they were interacting with someone who is covered by a specific law in that jurisdiction.

When that happens, “We’re going to tell you what the situation is, what the options may be, and what the consequences of the options may be, but at the end of the day, they have to make decisions and they have to go through with it,” John said.

Another interesting aspect of the job is when clients ask an unexpected question and John has to put on his detective hat. They might have asked about a jurisdiction they may have never mentioned or been registered in, or asking about rules that may not have applied to them before.

Situations like this also highlight why the work of our Research Department is so important, not just to our clients, but to our Compliance Department as well. By keeping our website up to date, our Compliance Department can rely on that information to assist clients.

“The key, I think, is trying to figure out what their needs are and guiding my efforts in that. Some clients are pretty hands off. They already know what they’re doing, and it’s just getting the occasional reminder to make sure we’re still on track. We also have clients that need more attention. Sometimes big changes come down from the states, so we have to make sure that our clients are aware of that as well,” John said.

The State and Federal Communications, Inc. team is full of experts you can trust. Learn more about what we can do for you at

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State and Federal Communications, Inc. provides research and consulting services for government relations professionals on lobbying laws, procurement lobbying laws, political contribution laws in the United States and Canada. Learn more by visiting

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