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Westly among those fined by California's ethics watchdog panel

The former Democratic candidate for governor admits to 32 counts of campaign finance law violations and is fined $104,500. Members of the state commission that regulates boxing are also cited.

December 01, 2009|By Michael Rothfeld and Patrick McGreevy

Reporting from Sacramento — The state's ethics watchdog agency announced fines Monday against a former Democratic candidate for governor, a sitting assemblyman and three current or former members of the state commission that regulates boxing.

Steve Westly, who lost a Democratic primary for governor in 2006, admitted to 32 counts of campaign finance law violations and agreed to pay $104,500 in a settlement with the Fair Political Practices Commission.

Westly failed to report expenses and information on contractors who were paid for millions of dollars in television ads, according to settlement documents. The fine, like all those announced Monday, still must be approved by the ethics agency, which meets Dec. 10.

State Assemblyman Joel Anderson (R-San Diego) has agreed to pay $20,000 in fines for accepting campaign contributions that exceeded the $3,900 limit for individuals.

Anderson and his representatives solicited more than $45,000 in contributions from five people, in amounts of up to $10,000 each. The money was given to the Fresno County Republican Central Committee, which is not subject to any limits on how much it can accept or donate to candidates. The Fresno committee then gave the same amount to Anderson's election committee, the settlement said.

Though the contributions went through the Republican committee, they still were subject to the $3,900 limit because Anderson was the intended recipient.

Members of the California State Athletic Commission agreed to pay fines for accepting admission to fights from promoters in 2008 and 2009, valued in excess of state gift limits.

The FPPC launched an investigation after The Times reported in September that commissioners accepted admission for friends and family members in apparent violation of state ethics laws.

The proposed fines are $2,500 for Timothy Noonan, the former chairman; $2,000 for Commissioner Mario Rodriguez; and $800 for Peter Lopez, a former commissioner.

Noonan and Lopez have since resigned; Rodriguez remains on the panel.



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