O.C. officials who received ethics warning letters listed
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The 40 elected city officials from Orange County who received warning letters from the staff of the state’s ethics agency range from mayors who are veterans of public office to city council members still in their first term.
The letters from Fair Political Practices Commission enforcement chief Gary Winuk say the officials violated the state Political Reform Act when they voted with their city councils to approve their own appointments to boards and commissions that pay stipends, in some cases up to $5,000 a year.
‘However, based on the fact that your decision did not affect your personal finances by a significant amount, and the fact that you do not have an enforcement history, we are closing this matter with a warning letter,’ Winuk wrote.
The warnings put the officials on notice that they could face fines of up to $5,000 per violation if they don’t refrain from participating in self-benefiting votes in the future. ‘The information in this matter will be retained and may be considered should an enforcement action become necessary based on newly discovered information or future conduct,’ Winuk wrote.
The city council members who received warning letters and the cities they represent include: Larry Agran and Steve Choi, Irvine; Sam Allevato, Derek Reeve and Laura Freese, San Juan Capistrano; Jerry Amante and John Nielsen, Tustin; Doug Bailey, Todd Seymore and Leroy Mills, Cypress; Lisa Bartlett, Dana Point; and Anthony Beall, Jerry Holloway, Rancho Santa Margarita; Rush Hill, Newport Beach.
Others who received warning letters include; Denis Bilodeau and Carolyn Cavecche, Orange; Randal Bressette, Laguna Hills; Tim Brown and Jim Dahl, San Clemente; Jim Dow and Elizabeth Swift, Buena Park; Gail Eastman, Anaheim; Alexander Ethans, Stanton; and James Gomez, La Habra.
Warning letters also went to Don Hansen, Joe Shaw and Matthew Harper, Huntington Beach; Dave Leckness, Mission Viejo; Gary Miller, David Sloan and Gordon Shanks, Seal Beach; Steve Nagel, Fountain Valley; Scott Nelson, Jeremy Yamaguchi and Chad Wanke, Placentia; Margie Rice and Tri Ta, Westminster; Ralph Rodriguez, La Palma; and Mark Schwing and Jim Winder, Yorba Linda.
-- Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento