Ex-Official Fined for Misuse of Campaign Funds
Ravi Mehta, a former chairman of the watchdog Fair Political Practices Commission, and a campaign committee were fined $23,000 by a Superior Court judge Wednesday for violating political reform laws, including spending $7,000 in campaign funds to paint his Porsche sports car.
The commission had sued Mehta, who served as its chairman from 1995 to 1997, accusing him of laundering and illegally spending $7,000 in contributions from the California Pro Business Committee to paint and refurbish his Porsche 911 Carrera.
It is against the law to use campaign funds for personal purposes. Mehta was the political committee’s treasurer at the time. The committee was independent of Republican gubernatorial nominee Dan Lungren but campaigned on his behalf.
At the time, the committee’s chief contributor was Edward Allred, a physician and owner of Los Alamitos Race Course and medical clinics, which performed abortions. Lungren said he had refused to accept contributions Allred made directly to him.
Steven Russo, the commission’s enforcement chief, said it was unfortunate that the commission had to bring charges against its former chairman, an appointee of former Gov. Pete Wilson. But Russo termed it a “serious case, well deserving of the judgment imposed.”
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