Facing criticism that she used a Burbank Unified school board candidate's political consulting company for her election campaign, Interim City Clerk Zizette Mullins this week called it a “non-issue.”
Mullins, who is seeking election to the post after being appointed to fill a vacancy, said she didn't know school board candidate Steve Ferguson was associated with the company.
And Mullins said that all transactions were done through Devin Cotter, who she did not realize was business partners with Ferguson until well after the fact.
“I thought [Ferguson] was just an active young man in the community. I had no idea what he does for a living to be honest,” Mullins said. “This is really a non-issue.”
According to her expenditure report, Mullins paid the firm, CF Political, $740 to print envelopes and design her website.
Mullins has faced some criticism because at a public forum two weeks ago, she indicated that it would be a conflict of interest for the city's top elections oversight official to pay another candidate for political consulting services.
“The city clerk's office has to stay neutral in running the city election,” she had said at the forum. “The city clerk should not be in a position where she has to take sides with any of the candidates running for office.”
But in an interview Wednesday, Ferguson said all the services through his firm were done at cost.
“I've merely connected her with vendors so she can get her campaign materials done and published,” Ferguson said.
Ferguson's partner, Cotter, could not immediately be reached for comment.