Advertisement

Resident’s lawsuit over allegations of Newport campaign finance violations is dropped

Resident’s lawsuit over allegations of Newport campaign finance violations is dropped
A lawsuit targeting Newport Beach City Councilman Scott Peotter, left, and Mayor Marshall Duffield, right, over alleged campaign finance violations has been dismissed. (File Photos)

A Newport Beach resident who sued the city over what she said was inaction on two council members’ alleged campaign finance violations has dropped her case.

The suit was dismissed Tuesday, six days after Orange County Superior Court Judge James Crandall issued a set of tentative rulings that said the city was not shirking any duty to investigate the allegations that Martha Peyton raised in April in her lawsuit accusing Councilman Scott Peotter and Mayor Marshall Duffield of campaign finance violations and City Attorney Aaron Harp of not doing anything about it because of a presumed conflict of interest.

Advertisement

Crandall agreed with Peotter, Duffield and outside lawyers for the city when he found that the city had no mandatory obligation to declare a conflict of interest between Harp and the council. The city attorney serves at the council’s pleasure.

The court docket contained an entry Tuesday saying the case was dismissed, the same day Peyton’s attorney, Phil Greer, submitted a request for dismissal.

Advertisement

Greer, of Newport Beach, did not immediately return calls seeking comment Wednesday.

Assistant City Attorney Michael Torres said the city is pleased with the dismissal.

“As we said from the beginning, we believe this lawsuit lacked merit and we are happy that all sides can now move forward to more productive pursuits,” he said.

At around the time she filed her lawsuit, Peyton submitted a complaint to the California Fair Political Practices Commission with the same allegations. An FPPC spokesman said Wednesday that that case remains an open investigation.

Advertisement
Advertisement