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MediaOne Fined for Ethics Violation

November 14, 2000|PATRICK McGREEVY

MediaOne, which for years provided cable television service in the east San Fernando Valley and South-Central Los Angeles, has agreed to pay $3,250 in fines to the city Ethics Commission for excessive contributions to City Council members, and for late disclosure of lobbyist activity.

According to a decision signed by company representatives, MediaOne exceeded the $1,500 aggregate limit on campaign contributions for the June 1999 election when it made $2,750 in contributions, including $500 to Councilman Alex Padilla, $500 to Nate Holden and $750 to Nick Pacheco.

MediaOne also exceeded the city's $500 contribution limit with its $750 check to Pacheco's election committee, according to the stipulated agreement, which is scheduled to be ratified Thursday by the Los Angeles Ethics Commission.

MediaOne's parent company, MediaOne Group, was purchased by AT&T in June, after MediaOne's violations occurred, according to the decision. Its local cable franchises are now held under the name AT&T Broadband.

The stipulation also says that MediaOne and Perry C. Parks III, the firm's vice president of government and public affairs, missed a deadline for filing a lobbyist report by two months.

MediaOne and AT&T have opposed the government's mandating "open access" for competing Internet service providers on city cable television franchises. Padilla, who has supported open access, chairs the committee where the issue has been aired.

Gisselle Acevedo-Franco, a spokeswoman for AT&T Broadband, said the violations were the result of a change in staffing during the merger transition.

"It was an inadvertent oversight, which we should have caught in the transition but we didn't," she said.

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