Public officials warned of conflict of interest
February 20, 2012
City officials throughout San Luis Obispo County regularly vote to appoint themselves to local boards that pay stipends to attend meetings, a practice that a Fair Political Practices Commission staffer says violates conflict-of-interest-laws. [LATimes]
Statewide, city council members and mayors get paid to sit on sanitation, air, fire and water boards. Proponents of the practice contend the stipends of usually between $100 and $200 a meeting as insignificant.
Opponents of the practice contend it violates state political laws.
“Fair Political Practices Commission staff member Gary S. Winuk, chief of enforcement, has concluded that the votes violate state political law,” the LA Times said. “Rather than fine the council members, he issued letters to 40 of them in Orange County, telling them to stop. He agreed that the money at issue is not significant enough to warrant prosecution and penalties — at least not yet.”
The full commission is slated to discuss the issue on March 15.