O.C. Grand Jury Indicts Baugh : Campaign Fraud Indictments
GOP Assemblyman Scott Baugh and two political associates were indicted by the Orange County Grand Jury on charges stemming from a special election in November. Baugh--elected as part of the recall of former Assemblywoman Doris Allen--must face voters again March 23.
Charges: Four felony counts of lying on campaign finance reports; 18 misdemeanor counts of violating state election law
Maximum sentence: Seven years in prison
Campaign manager to Rep. Dana Rohrabacher
Charges: Three felony counts of fraud by making and filing petitions for a decoy candidate to hinder a Baugh opponent
Maximum sentence: Three years, eight months in prison
Baugh chief of staff
Charges: Two felony counts of fraudulently voting in the election to recall Allen and elect Baugh
Maximum sentence: Four years, eight months in prison
* All three will be arraigned and asked to enter pleas on April 22.
* Unless Baugh is convicted--or loses Tuesday’s primary--he retains his Assembly seat.
“Fair and honest elections are the cornerstone of a democracy and that is something we take seriously. This is Orange County, California. . . . We are not Chicago."--Dist. Atty. Michael R. Capizzi
“This is obviously a political ploy. It’s a witch hunt, and it’s politically motivated to be brought . . . days before an election."--Assemblyman Scott Baugh, right, after his indictment
Freshman Assemblyman Scott Baugh (R-Huntington Beach) was indicted Friday for political campaign finance reporting violations in last year’s 67th Assembly District election to recall and replace Assemblywoman Doris Allen. The district attorney is also investigating potential links between Baugh, leading Republicans and the aborted candidacy of decoy Democrat Laurie Campbell. Here are the key figures in the unfolding scandal:
Scott Baugh, Assemblyman (R-Huntington Beach)
Elected Nov. 28 to replace Speaker Doris Allen (R-Cypress) from the 67th District; a protege of Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, who backed the political novice against three other Republicans. Indicted for concealing the source of more than $30,000 in campaign funds, and lying on political finance reports.
Democratic candidate removed from the ballot in October for filing falsified nomination papers. A political unknown, she had an eight-year friendship with Baugh that they concealed throughout the campaign. Testified before grand jury that indicted Baugh.
Laurie’s husband. On Sept. 15 gave Baugh committee $1,000 that Baugh allegedly concealed and misrepresented on campaign finance reports until shortly before polls closed election day. Baugh returned donation in cash to Campbell on Sept. 21, the day Laurie Campbell filed to run.
Campaign manager for Rohrabacher and worker in campaign to elect Baugh. Named in court documents as the key instigator of the plan to dilute Democrat voting strength by putting Campbell on the ballot to draw votes away from a well-known Democrat who Republicans feared might win. Indicted on three felony charges for conspiracy and fraudulently filing Campbell’s ballot petition.
Former Pringle staffer serving in Garden Grove district office. Resigned his post and pleaded guilty this month to illegally gathering signatures on Campbell’s nomination petition at the request of Carmony, knowing that he was not going to sign as circulator.
Manager of last fall’s campaign to recall former Speaker Doris Allen. Pleaded guilty this month to illegally gathering signatures on Laurie Campbell’s nomination petition at the request of Carmony, knowing that he was not going to sign as circulator.
Paid staff member of the Baugh campaign. Pleaded guilty this month to falsely making a nomination paper for his role in Laurie Campbell’s candidacy.
Veteran political consultant, often works with Pringle; paid consultant for recall and became campaign consultant for Baugh. Named by Pringle as someone who may have been asked to arrange legal representation for Laurie Campbell when her candidacy was challenged.
Pringle’s deputy chief of staff. Took leave to become recall’s paid campaign consultant on Sept. 21. Had a telephone argument with Carmony in front of Denny and Gibson at Pringle campaign office moments before Carmony recruited Denny and Gibson to illegally gather signatures.
Assemblyman Curt Pringle (R-Garden Grove)
Elected Assembly Speaker in January with Baugh’s vote; strategist for recall campaigns and key Baugh backer. Said in court documents to have given his “blessing” to scheme to put Campbell on the ballot.
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach)
Baugh’s mentor; Carmony’s employer. Sponsored Baugh and also loaned $15,000 to his campaign. An originator of recall drive in June.
Former treasurer to the separate campaigns of Rohrabacher, the Allen recall, and Baugh. Says Baugh asked him for $1,000 in cash to return Kendrick Campbell contribution Sept. 21. Baugh’s attorney says Baugh took envelope from Traxler, gave it to Campbell not knowing it contained cash.
Chief of Staff to Baugh; former campaign aide to Sens. Ross Johnson (R-Irvine) and John Lewis (R-Orange); Huntington Beach City Council candidate endorsed by Rohrabacher. Indicted for fraudulently voting in the 67th Assembly District recall and special election. She lived outside the district.
Executive director of California Independent Business PAC, one of the largest donors to GOP legislative candidates. PAC was one of recall’s largest contributors and wanted to sponsor a Democrat in 67th Assembly race. Said to be Pringle’s go-between to get Laurie Campbell legal help.
Source: Court reports, Times reports; Researched by PETER M. WARREN / Los Angeles Times