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Ethics officials accuse candidate of using neighborhood council funds

Ethics panel official finds probable cause that 2011 City Council candidate Kelly M. Lord Jr. violated laws

The executive director of the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission has found probable cause that a 2011 City Council candidate violated campaign laws.

A commission official released a public accusation Monday alleging that Kelly M. Lord Jr. -- who ran to represent the city's 12th District -- let a campaign consultant pay for a campaign website with $4,700 from the Northridge East Neighborhood Council, for which Lord was treasurer.

The consultant then reimbursed the city for that money but was allegedly never actually paid by Lord, according to the accusation. 

If true, Lord would have violated the $500 non-monetary campaign contribution limit in place at the time by accepting $4,700 worth of free services, said Lisa Ishimaru, policy analyst with the commission.

Lord declined to comment to the Times, saying the matter was in litigation.

The Ethics Commission now has to determine whether the violations occurred and what the penalty will be. The maximum penalty is either $5,000 per violation, or three times the amount of money at issue, whichever is greater.

In the March primary election in 2011 for Council District 12, Lord came in fourth with about 5% of the vote. He ran against Mitch Englander, who now represents the northwest San Fernando Valley District.

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