Tricia Hunter Agrees to Fine on Donations

From a Times Staff Writer

Assemblywoman Tricia Hunter (R-Bonita) has agreed to pay a $7,000 fine because her campaign failed to report nearly $37,000 in late contributions to her 1989 election race.

The fine is part of a proposed settlement that will be considered by the Fair Political Practices Commission at its Nov. 6 meeting in Sacramento.

The state political watchdog agency has charged Hunter, her original election committee and its treasurer, Myrna R. Allen, with failing to report donations they received just before two special elections in 1989. The donations came in before the elections but after the deadline for the last public reporting period.

State law requires that such “late contributions” be reported within 24 hours, usually in a telegram that lists the donor’s name and street address. However, an audit found that Hunter failed to do so six times during her upstart victory in a closely contested race for the 76th Assembly District seat.


Among the money not reported in time was a $13,000 loan Hunter gave to herself and donations ranging from $5,000 to $1,000 from abortion rights groups, the California Trial Lawyers Assn., real estate interests, Republican donors and other organizations.

The settlement agreement stated that the inexperience of Allen, a registered nurse who took a leave of absence to work as Hunter’s campaign treasurer, was a “mitigating factor” in arriving at the proposed fine, which under state law could have gone as high as $12,000.

Hunter is on a legislative trip to Israel and could not be reached for comment. But her assistant, Scott Sadler, said Monday that the lawmaker has admitted the error all along and cooperated with the FPPC investigation.