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Ethics Panel, Hahn Ratify Fines Order

The mayor and his campaign manager sign a condition admitting violations that included accepting contributions above the $1,000 limit.

September 10, 2003|Patrick McGreevy | Times Staff Writer

The Los Angeles Ethics Commission on Tuesday finalized an agreement that calls for Mayor James K. Hahn's campaign committee to pay $53,522 in fines for 64 violations of city restrictions during the 2001 election.

Under the agreement, which was disclosed last week, Hahn and his campaign treasurer signed a stipulation admitting the violations. Those infractions included accepting contributions in excess of the $1,000 limit and failure to provide the Ethics Commission with copies of political mailers and telephone solicitation scripts as required by city rules.

The panel also approved $28,250 fines against 32 companies and individuals for providing excessive contributions to Hahn and other candidates.

Because violations were committed by Hahn's campaign committee, the mayor will be able to pay the fines from political contributions, Ethics Commission President Gil Garcetti said.

"There is no evidence that they did this intentionally. Nevertheless it's embarrassing to the mayor and you don't want to have to raise money to pay fines," said Garcetti, the former county district attorney.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Thursday September 11, 2003 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 38 words Type of Material: Correction
Ethics fine -- A headline in Wednesday's California section incorrectly stated that Mayor James K. Hahn and his campaign manager admitted violating city restrictions during the 2001 election. In fact, Hahn and his campaign treasurer admitted the violations.

Ronald Turovsky, an attorney for Hahn, said the mayor agreed to the settlement to put the matter behind him so he could focus on serving the city.

Commissioner Bill Boyarsky questioned whether Hahn was given favorable treatment by the commission staff.

He noted that the stipulation for Hahn includes a statement of "factors in mitigation" that says he cooperated with the investigation and has had no history of violations.

Similar statements were requested by contributors but not included in their settlements, Boyarsky said.

LeeAnn Pelham, the panel's executive director, said mitigation statements will be included in stipulations by contributors in the future.

The fines stem from an investigation of campaign finance violations discovered in routine audits of all campaigns. Pelham said it would take until the end of next year to complete all the audits.

In addition to accepting 36 contributions totaling $43,800 that exceeded contribution limits, Hahn improperly spent $1,300 from his political officeholder account on advertisements when such expenditures were not allowed because he was a candidate.

The fine was the largest penalty imposed on a mayoral candidate in the panel's 12-year history.

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