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Cochran Among 38 Fined for Campaign Ethics Violations

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O.J. Simpson attorney Johnnie L. Cochran Jr., Forest Lawn and Dan Garcia, Los Angeles’ Community Redevelopment Agency president, have something in common: They have admitted violating a little-known city ethics law provision.

The three are among 38 companies and individuals who have reached agreements with the city Ethics Commission staff to pay a total of $56,521.03 in fines. Their names were revealed Thursday in city documents.

Ethics Commission executive director Benjamin Bycel refused to comment on the agreements signed by the 38, which are expected to be approved by the five-member Ethics Commission at its meeting Monday.

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The 38 were found to have violated a provision that limits how much money a contributor may give to all candidates during an election cycle. The amount of the limit varies, depending on the number of offices on the ballot.

Better known is the ethics law limiting contributions to individual council candidates to $500 per election and limiting contributions to city-wide candidates for mayor, city controller and city attorney to $1,000.

The amount of the recommended fines was equal in all cases to the amount the violators contributed in excess of the applicable limits.

It is proposed that Cochran pay $1,750, Forest Lawn Co., owner of the well-known cemeteries, $500, and Garcia, a well-known City Hall figure who is currently an executive at Warner Brothers, $190.89.

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