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Donation to Silva Leads to $14,000 Fine for Developer

April 26, 1996|LEN HALL | TIMES STAFF WRITER

SANTA ANA — A South County developer has agreed to pay $14,000 in fines to settle accusations that it violated state campaign finance laws by hiding donations to Supervisor Jim Silva during his race for election.

R. Wicks Stephens, an attorney for Aradi Inc. of Century City, owner of a controversial housing project proposed for Trabuco Canyon, said the developer agreed this week to pay the fine, but denied breaking any laws.

The county had sought $24,000 in fines, but agreed to $14,000, Stephens said.

The accusations against Aradi, made in a complaint filed this week in Orange County Superior Court by Deputy Dist. Atty. Guy N. Ormes, stemmed from donations of $1,000 each to Silva from four Aradi employees in October 1994.

Because the employees were later reimbursed by Aradi, the company should have disclosed that it was the actual donor and the employees were intermediaries, according to the complaint.

The donations were made when Silva was in a runoff with Linda Moulton-Patterson for the 2nd District supervisorial seat. Silva was not charged with any wrongdoing.

Aradi, parent company of California Quartet, is the developer of Saddleback Meadows, a 318-unit housing project proposed for 222 acres near Santiago Canyon and Live Oak Canyon roads. An environmental impact report on the project is being prepared.

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