The Los Angeles Ethics Commission approved $11,450 in fines Tuesday against City Atty. Rocky Delgadillo for 30 counts of violating campaign finance laws.
The panel concluded that Delgadillo's political officeholder account failed to provide a detailed itemization of how $394 spent on meals and more than $1,200 on flowers, candy and other gifts were related to his conduct of official business. Those represent 25 administrative counts.
The fines also cover five violations of using the account to make prohibited payments to consultants and researchers during his reelection campaign.
The expenditures were made in 2004 and 2005 in the run-up to his reelection in 2005.
Delgadillo admitted to all of the violations for which fines were imposed in a settlement released last week.
"The officeholder account is not supposed to be spent for campaign purposes," said Bob Stern, head of the Center for Governmental Studies in Los Angeles. "The city attorney has to be more careful than anyone else because he is in charge of enforcing the law."
Stephen Kaufman, an attorney for Delgadillo, said the consultants were paid to write speeches for Delgadillo and did not aid his campaign.
In addition, Kaufman said the officeholder account reported the meals, flowers and gifts, but did not provide additional information showing how the expenditure was part of allowing Delgadillo to do his government job.
The additional information is required to prevent elected officials from using officeholder accounts to pay for meals and entertainment that have nothing to do with their jobs.
"These were inadvertent errors that occurred in the reporting process, and by reaching this agreement the city attorney has accepted responsibility for his officeholder committee," Kaufman said.
Also, the panel approved $5,450 in fines against former Mayor James K. Hahn, who admitted to violating campaign finance rules in his failed reelection campaign of 2005.
The commission levied $7,250 in fines against City Councilman Tony Cardenas for 25 violations of campaign laws during his 2002 campaign for the council.