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Alarcon, Wesson fined for election violations

June 11, 2008|David Zahniser | Times Staff Writer

The Los Angeles City Ethics Commission voted today to impose $5,650 in fines on two elected officials -- Councilmen Herb Wesson and Richard Alarcon -- for violating rules that regulate the size and type of campaign contributions given during last year's election.

Wesson, who represents parts of Koreatown and South Los Angeles, received $3,000 in fines after he accepted six contributions that exceed the city's $500 maximum during his reelection campaign.

Alarcon, who represents part of the San Fernando Valley, was hit with $2,650 in fines for failing to turn in the script from an automated telephone call, taking a contribution from a lobbyist and violating two counts of receiving contributions of more than $500 from certain donors. Proposition R, which passed in 2006, bars lobbyists from contributing to city election campaigns. Alarcon's case was complicated by the fact that a lobbyist wrote a check to him before Proposition R took effect. The check was accepted by Alarcon, however, after the measure had become law.

The commission also issued a $1,000 fine to lobbyist Dominick Rubalcava, a former city commissioner at the Department of Water and Power, for contributing to the reelection campaign of Councilman Jose Huizar. Lobbyist Amy Forbes was also fined $1,000 for donating to Huizar.

"The commission's enforcement actions today signal our commitment to upholding voters' efforts to limit undue influence of paid lobbyists in the governmental process," said commission Executive Director LeeAnn Pelham.

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david.zahniser@latimes.com

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