Orange County Supervisor Andrew Do faces a $ 12,000 fine for lobbying his own campaign donors, which according to the state’s Fair Political Practice Commission violates state restrictions. payment to play.
Commission investigators said it happened while Do was working on the board of CalOptima, the agency that oversees OC’s health insurance plan for the elderly, poor and needy.
“In fact, he participated and tried to use his official position to influence government procurement decisions involving a participant who contributed to his campaign,” says a commission complaint.
Read the full stipulation here.
Do did not respond to requests for comment Monday afternoon.
Officials noted that while on CalOptima’s board of directors, Do helped drive the lobbying contracts of two established OC lobbyists, James McConnell and Christopher Townsend in 2016 and 2017, according to the decision of the Commission.
The Commission’s proposed decision does not allege any crime on the part of McConnell or Townsend.
Both lobbyists gave money to the Do campaign before getting the contracts.
Given that both pressure groups are known and made important contributions to the Do campaign, FPPC researchers said it was difficult to accept that Do did not know why he was voting.
“At the time, Do had reason to know that Mr. Townsend was the source of contributions to the campaign for a total of more than $ 250 over the past 12 months. Specifically, in December 2016, Mr. Townsend contributed $ 1,900 in Do. In addition, in March 2017, Mr. Townsend made an additional contribution to Do in the amount of $ 2,000, ”the Commission’s findings say.
The Fair Policy Practice Commission found similar donations from McConnell and also said Do should have been rejected from those votes.
“With respect to McConnell and Townsend, Do had to refuse / disqualify himself from the government decision-making process, and Do had to disclose the reason for his disqualification (receiving contributions in excess of $ 250 for 12 months ago. ), but it did not, ”the commission’s findings say.
According to the Commission’s decision, Do argues that CalOptima staff did not inform him of any conflict of interest in the contracts and once he discovered them, he took corrective action.
In their decision against Do, lawyers working for the Commission argue that pay restrictions for gambling were created to ensure that officials are not influenced by the contributions they receive and are not allowed to do so. serve their power to influence the people who contribute to their campaigns.
The Commission also found that Do violated regulations on a number of mandatory payments for a statue project in Mile Square Park during 2015 and early 2016 by late filing of required reports.
“Form 803 of required payment reports revealing eight payments, for a total of approximately $ 110,440, which were made at his request for the statue project (for 5,000 donors) could not be submitted in a timely manner. dollars or more per calendar year) “, the conclusions say.
According to the Commission, Do argued that it did not understand that the requirements for mandatory payment reports could be activated by staff.
While the findings argue that the violations “appear to be the result of the negligence of a public official” and that he has no history of similar violations, they also observe Do’s history as a former prosecutor as well as his tenure as a public servant. elected. .
“It is fair to say that Do is a sophisticated civil servant who had many reasons to know and understand the requirements of the Act,” the Commission argues.
Apparently, Do has accepted the conclusions of the control panel.
“The defendant accepts the issuance of the decision and the order set forth below. In addition, the defendant agrees that the Commission imposes on him an administrative penalty in the amount of $ 12,000, ”the Commission filing says.
The Committee meets on July 21, with the case of Do included to be considered on the agenda.
Spencer Custodio is the civic editor. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @SpencerCustodio.
Hosam Elattar is a Voice of OC reporter and body member with Report for America, a GroundTruth initiative. Contact him at email@example.com or on Twitter @ElattarHosam
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