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Lobbyist to Pay $3,000 Fine for Improper Loan

Times Staff Writer

Health care industry lobbyist Willie R. Hausey has agreed to pay a $3,000 fine for making an improper $5,000 loan to Sen. Diane Watson (D-Los Angeles) and for failing to disclose the loan on his quarterly lobbying reports, according to a document made available Thursday by the state Fair Political Practices Commission.

In July, Watson, who chairs the Senate’s Health and Human Services Committee, agreed to pay a $2,000 fine for her own failure to disclose the loan on her annual financial statement.

The fines happen to equal the amount of the 1987 loan, which enabled Watson to pay for repairs to her fire-damaged Sacramento house.

One provision of the state Political Reform Act prohibits lobbyists from doing “anything with the purpose of placing any elected state officer . . . under personal obligation to the lobbyist.”

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A second provision requires both the elected officials and the lobbyist to report any payments that would benefit an elected official.

In agreeing to pay his fine, Hausey acknowledged violating both provisions of the law. Earlier, Watson acknowledged violating the reporting requirement.

Watson and Hausey reported the personal loan only after it was disclosed in a Municipal Court proceeding in March. Both the lawmaker and the lobbyist have said that they are longtime friends who believed they were not required to report the loan, which was repaid after two months, along with $100 in interest.

As a lobbyist for several health-related organizations, Hausey has testified before Watson’s committee. But investigators concluded that there was no evidence that Watson participated in any legislative action benefiting Hausey’s clients at the time of the loan.

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