Thursday, August 31, 2006

Arkleys face Fair Political Practices Commission penalties

by Rebecca S. Bender, 8/31/2006
Eureka Reporter

Local business owners Rob and Cherie Arkley and two of their companies, Race Investments and Security National Servicing Corporation, are facing $38,500 in administrative penalties from the Fair Political Practices Commission for multiple violations of the Political Reform Act related to campaign contribution disclosures.

The contributions in question date back to 2002, 2004 and 2005, years in which the four made donations to candidates or committees that totaled $50,000 or more.

Under the Political Reform Act, donations of $10,000 or more in any given year bump the contributor into a “major donor” category, which requires semi-annual statements be filed with the secretary of state. In the $50,000 or more accumulated contribution range, a corresponding online or electronic statement also must be filed.

The FPPC report on the case lists 11 violation counts, including failures to disclose late contributions and to file the semi-annual campaign statements by the appropriate due dates, as well as failure to disclose an affiliated entity and its contribution — a point related to Security National’s $250,000 donation to the Citizens to Save California (Yes on Props. 74 and 76) campaign in 2005.

John Piland, a certified public accountant with Security National, explained Wednesday that the problem had been largely organizational in nature.

“The issue originally was that political contributions were being made by a variety of Security National entities,” he said. “So now we have a better system for keeping track of those things.”

The semi-annual statement violations encompassed 17 separate donations, the largest of which were $250,000 each to the Citizens to Save California campaign and the 2004 Governor Schwarzenegger’s California Recovery Team; $100,000 each to the Republican Party Central Committee of Los Angeles County in 2004 and the Coalition for Employee Rights (Yes on Prop. 75) in 2005; and $80,000 to the California Republican Party in 2004.

Late contributions included a $12,000 donation to the Friends of Paul Gallegos campaign in 2004, $5,000 to McClintock for Lt. Governor in 2006 and $100,000 to Stop the Reiner Initiative (No on Prop. 82) in 2006.

According to the FPPC report, the relatively large amount of unreported late contributions and a previous enforcement action in 2002 factored into the $38,500 administrative penalty — as did the mitigating effect of the group’s efforts to make amends through providing the necessary paperwork and initiating a “proactive compliance program,” including hiring a professional campaign treasurer and counsel.

“There is no evidence that the failure to timely file the campaign statements was intentional or deliberate,” the FPPC report stated. “In addition, Respondent Committee cooperated fully with the Enforcement Division’s investigation in this matter.”

The maximum administrative penalty for the 11 counts was $55,000.

Jon Matthews, a spokesperson for the FPPC, emphasized that the fine was strictly administrative in nature, not civil or criminal.

The stipulation agreement reached between the FPPC and the Arkleys and their companies acknowledges the violations and accepts the penalty, a cashier’s check for which amount has already been submitted, Piland said.

The issue will be reviewed by the five-member commission board on Sept. 12, a hearing Piland classified as essentially a “rubber stamp” approval of the stipulation.

“Most of our cases are resolved by stipulation,” Matthews acknowledged. “However, this case does not become final until the commission acts on it.”

That ought to set him straight!

Yeah right.
Funny, when Paul got fined for an accounting error in first election, the ER used it in an editorial as a reason to vote against him. I guess it's different when it is their own boss!
So the Distorter staff should vote against their employer?
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