Captain may be fined $1,000

Recently retired Newport Beach police Capt. Jim Kaminsky is facing a $1,000 state fine for allegedly failing to report hundreds of dollars in gifts from friends and services and stays at The Island Hotel near Fashion Island, according to a state agency that oversees public employees.

Kaminsky, who celebrated his retirement Thursday at a Newport Beach Marriott hotel, received more than $1,200 in food, lodging and gift certificates from the Island Hotel between 2007 and 2008.

As a police captain, Kaminsky is required to report such gifts to the state's Fair Political Practices Commission. The FPPC requires public employees to disclose gifts over certain amounts, depending on job classification. This week staff members recommended fining Kaminsky.

FPPC commissioners are expected to approve the fine at their meeting next week.

According to the commission's agenda for Sept. 17, the Chicago native also received four tickets to a Cubs game in 2007 worth $160.

He also reportedly took room stays and spa services worth about $1,155 at the Island Hotel and a meal there valued at about $85.

Even though state law allows for Kaminsky to accept up to $390 a year in gifts, in 2007 or 2008 he didn't report any gifts on the proper form, records show.

City policy prohibits any gifts to police officers.

Kaminsky's attorney defended his client, saying accepting gifts is commonplace among Newport Beach city employees.

"Jim was doing what he was told, and a lot of people I think are ill-advised on the process," said his attorney, Gregory Petersen. "I know in this city, I feel a lot of this is an education and nobody knows what to do with the process. Jim, when he made captain, had never had to fill one of [the forms] before."

Kaminsky was placed on administrative leave earlier this year. City officials declined to say why.

The FPPC is fining him on four separate counts, three for not reporting gifts that were legal within state limits, and one for accepting room and spa passes from the Island Hotel that exceeded state limits.

The FPPC initiated an investigation into Kaminsky after the Daily Pilot reported earlier this year that The Island hotel was seeking reimbursement for some of those gifts, none of which he had declared to the state.

The Orange County Register first reported the expected fines. Capt. Craig Fox is now in Kaminsky's position overseeing the detective's division.

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