At the request of Rep. Elton Gallegly, the Federal Election Commission said Friday that it will determine whether the Simi Valley Republican has violated election law through a rental arrangement involving his campaign office in Simi Valley.
“The commission will be considering the matter under its normal procedures,” FEC spokesman Fred Eiland said.
The review was initiated by a letter that Gallegly wrote to the commission in response to a question from a Los Angeles Daily News reporter this week.
Gallegly has maintained his campaign headquarters at the Erringer Professional Building in Simi Valley since 1985, when he decided to run for the 21st District congressional seat. The building is owned by Gallegly, his wife Janice, and Mike and Marcie Schweitzer, according to real estate records.
Mike and Marcie Schweitzer are longtime friends and business partners of the Galleglys. Janice Gallegly said Friday that she previously worked for Mike Schweitzer at his escrow company.
Gallegly reported in an Oct. 15 campaign statement filed with the FEC that his campaign committee owes $11,150 in back rent on the office. The money is owed to the Galleglys and the Schweitzers, according to the campaign statement.
In an Oct. 19 letter to FEC general counsel Larry Noble, Gallegly said, “I am extremely conscientious as to ensuring that reporting requirements are met, to the letter, of FEC regulations. In this regard, I asked your staff to review my report and was assured that all filings were in order and proper.
“There has today arisen a question, however, as to the length of time this one referenced obligation has been outstanding in relation to technical FEC regulations. I would greatly appreciate your review of this situation . . . .”
Eiland said confidentiality rules prohibited him from discussing the FEC’s review.
One possibility is that the rent extension over a 2-year period might be construed as a loan, which must be reported as such under the law. Gallegly’s committee has reported it under debts and obligations; loans are reported under a separate category on the FEC form.
A candidate is allowed to give or loan an unlimited amount to his own campaign. Contributions and loans from other individuals are limited to $1,000 for each primary campaign and $1,000 for each general election race under federal law.