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Westly, committee, treasurer to pay FPPC fine

By Josh Richman
Monday, November 30th, 2009 at 1:18 pm in campaign finance.

California’s Fair Political Practices Commission will consider Thursday whether to sign off on a $104,500 fine paid by former state Controller and 2006 Democratic gubernatorial primary candidate Steve Westly, his campaign committee, and committee treasurer Kinde Durkee.

Documents show the FPPC leveled against Westly, the committee and the treasurer 29 counts of failing to report or timely report required subvendor information for payments made by the committee; two counts of failing to report accrued expenses; and one count of failing to report expenditures paid to the treasurer’s firm, Durkee & Associates.

FPPC Executive Director Roman Porter says that, per the usual procedure, a check for the penalty already has been cut as part of this stipulated agreement, to be deposited into the General Fund if the commission approves the deal Thursday.

Durkee, based in Burbank, is a big-time name in managing money for Democratic campaigns: among her many other clients have been Secretary of State Debra Bowen and a ton of Southern California state lawmakers, Democratic clubs, PACs and ballot measure committees.

But this isn’t the only trouble Durkee potentially faces. The San Diego Union Tribune recently reported that former state Sen. Christine Kehoe, D-San Diego, has asked the FPPC and the Attorney General’s office to investigate the suspected embezzlement of more than $57,000 and other possible financial irregularities found during a routine audit of her 2006 campaign account; Kehoe also fired Durkee for allegedly failing to report 29 suspected check forgeries by one of the company’s employees.

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