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Compton's first Latino lawmaker finally submits finance forms

August 27, 2013|By Angel Jennings and Abby Sewell
  • Compton Councilman Isaac Galvan, right, greets new Compton Mayor Aja Brown, center, as Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, left, watches. Galvan is the first Latino city councilman in Compton.
Compton Councilman Isaac Galvan, right, greets new Compton Mayor Aja Brown,… (Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles…)

Compton City Councilman Isaac Galvan belatedly filed mandatory campaign finance forms after state officials threatened to open a formal investigation when he missed several deadlines.

The financial statements, which were submitted Thursday, show that Galvan spent $29,000 on his race to become Compton's first Latino elected official.  Galvan also reported that he raised only half as much as he spent.  Most of his donations came from people outside of Compton in neighboring southeast communities. 

According to the documents, Galvan has outstanding debts totaling $15,500, most of which was attributed to printing campaign fliers.  The 26-year-old reported that he owes Angel Gonzalez, his former campaign manager, almost $12,000. 

Galvan hired Gonzalez as his community liaison when he won the election.  Gonzalez was subsequently fired by Compton's city manager after The Times published a story that revealed Gonzalez's criminal history.

In 2002, Gonzalez was convicted of a felony conspiracy charge — reduced to a misdemeanor at his sentencing — for sending out attack mailers with copies of fake official documents. In a separate case, he was convicted on two misdemeanor counts of sending out misleading campaign fliers.

Compton's Latino residents have been trying for decades to get a Latino candidate elected to city office. So it was a joyous moment for some when Galvan won a seat on Compton's City Council in June.

But a few weeks into his term, some are having misgivings about the councilman.

Galvan had failed to file any of the required campaign finance disclosures for the primary and runoff elections. As his first official action, he hired Gonzalez. And according to public records and interviews, including information from a former roommate, he moved to Compton just in time to run for office.

Gary Winuk, the head of the Fair Political Practices Commission's enforcement division, said a formal investigation has not been opened, but a warning letter was sent to Galvan. He was given to last Friday to send all required forms or face a possible fine of up to $5,000 per violation.  


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