Abel Maldonado fined for nondisclosure
April 4, 2011
After a lengthy investigation, former Lt. Gov. and Central Coast state senator Abel Maldonado has agreed to pay a $28,000 fine for committing 14 campaign violations in 2004 through 2008.
California campaign rules require the transparency of donors and contributors.
Maldonado failed to file numerous required campaign reports including reports of late campaign donations of more than $5,000. Non-disclosed donations include $250,000 from the California Republican Party, $5,000 from Jeffrey Burum Enterprises and $10,000 from Rosa Mata Boutonnet.
In his defense, the FPPC’s report says that none of the reporting omissions appear to be in any way deliberate and that Maldonado relied on professional accountants to comply with the legal requirements.
The state commission is scheduled to act on the fine at its April 11 meeting. Maldonado has agreed to the penalty, according to a commission staff report.
During the same meeting, the FPPC is slated to level a $15,000 fine on the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians for failure to file lobbying reports from January 2007 through December 2010. The tribe spent $312,000 “for the purpose of influencing legislative or administrative action,” the FPPC report says.
The tribe’s lobbyist, Frank J. Molina of Sacramento-based Strategic Solutions Advisors, agreed to a $30,000 fine to the FPPC for failing to file reports for the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians in February. He also worked with the Soboba Band of Luiseno Indians and the Tule River Indian Tribe.
Molina failed to report $840,000 in lobbying payments from 2007 through 2010.
According to the commission staff report, “Respondents were not very cooperative with the investigation, causing significant delays in obtaining information and compliance with their filing obligations.”
In addition, “Respondent Molina worked in the Legislature for nearly nine years, including as the chief of staff to a member of the Legislature. Thus, he was not an unsophisticated party.”