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Former Sen. Michael Rubio discloses partnership funded by oil executive

March 01, 2013|By Patrick McGreevy
  • Former state Sen. Michael Rubio ( D-Shafter), left, during a hearing before he resigned.
Former state Sen. Michael Rubio ( D-Shafter), left, during a hearing before… (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated…)

Already facing questions about financial ties to oil executive Majid Mojibi, former state Sen. Michael Rubio (D-Shafter) on Friday disclosed an additional partnership funded by Mojibi to buy an office building and agricultural land.

Rubio, who abruptly resigned last week from the Senate to take a job with Chevron Corp., had already confirmed that investment firm DCM Asset Management, headed by Mojibi, purchased a Bakersfield house in a short sale from Rubio in 2011 and provide a loan so Rubio could buy an El Dorado Hills home for $681,000. Rubio later sold the house back to  DCM and now rents it from the firm.

Mojibi is also president of San Joaquin Refining Co.

On Friday, Rubio filed a financial disclosure statement required by the state in which he disclosed the 6% loan from DCM for the El Dorado Hills house. His statement also disclosed for the first time that he formed an additional partnership funded by Mojibi, M&R Investment Group LLC, on Sept. 11, 2012, to own and operate property.

Rubio disclosed that Mojibi provided loans of more than $200,000 to allow the partnership to buy an office building in Bakersfield and some agricultural land. Rubio says he received no income from the new partnership last year.

As the former chairman of the Senate Environmental Quality Committee, Rubio was leading the effort to make the state's environmental laws more business-friendly and had introduced legislation to help the oil industry. The financial disclosure form was filed Friday with the State Fair Political Practices Commission, which is looking at his finances to determine whether an investigation is warranted into possible conflicts of interest.

An attorney for Rubio did not return calls for comment.

Jamie Court of Consumer Watchdog was critical of the deal. "It's time for the FPPC to send a message to every legislator that this type of financial lock on a legislator's finances is an abuse of office punishable by more than a platinum parachute to the executive suite at Chevron," Court said.

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patrick.mcgreevy@latimes.com

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