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Campaign Audit Finds Cash Donation of $8,800

Politics: Gift to GOP Assemblyman Scott Baugh exceeds reform act limit, official says.


The Fair Political Practices Commission is auditing Republican Assemblyman Scott Baugh's campaign reports and has obtained financial records showing he accepted a large contribution in cash last year, an apparent violation of the state's Political Reform Act.

Darryl East, the commission's chief enforcement officer, said the agency has evidence that the Baugh campaign accepted $8,800 in cash from a Huntington Beach businessman.

In an interview Wednesday, Adel Ziedan, owner of the Ocean Pacific Market in Huntington Beach, confirmed that he personally gave the money to the Huntington Beach assemblyman.

"I gave him cash because I had cash," Ziedan said. "He said he wanted a check, really. But I didn't do it. It was my fault."

Individual cash contributions in amounts over $100 are banned under the political reform act, said FPPC spokesman Gary Huckaby.

Baugh, who was elected to the Assembly on Nov. 28, did not return phone calls to his office seeking comment. His lawyer called the audit "not unusual" for the agency, which regulates campaign fund raising, spending and reporting.

Ben Davidian, who represents Baugh and headed the commission from 1991 to 1995, declined to comment on the cash contribution, noting that his Sacramento law office has yet to receive all the records from Baugh's campaign. Some of the records were seized by the Orange County district attorney in a December search of Baugh's Huntington Beach home or were subpoenaed from Baugh's campaign treasurer.

A spokesman for the district attorney's office, which is investigating alleged irregularities in Baugh's campaign finances, said officials are cooperating with the audit.

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