State elections officials this week confirmed they are investigating claims that Democrat Chahe Keuroghelian, a former candidate for the 43rd Assembly District candidate, failed to file proper campaign disclosure reports.
Glendale resident Heather Chetian filed the complaint alleging that Keuroghelian failed to meet the 24-hour deadline for reporting money raised through a telethon on AMGA Channel 280, and that the candidate supplemented his campaign through independent expenditures financed by "operatives" of Mike Gatto (D-Silver Lake) who won the election, according to the California Fair Political Practices Commission.
Keuroghelian and Gatto, who said an April 24 meeting was to mend post-special election wounds, steadfastly denied collusion. Keuroghelian characterized the allegations against him as "absolutely false" and "malicious," saying "it's been clear throughout the campaign where they have come from."
"I've submitted all the documents that the FPPC asked me to," he said. "They have everything in their possession and I've received a confirmation from them of that."
Keuroghelian ended his candidacy for the seat May 17, setting up a face-off between Gatto and Republican Sunder Ramani to represent Glendale, Burbank and parts of Los Angeles.
Gatto, who maintains a decisive lead over Ramani following Tuesday's special election, was confirmed Thursday at the state capital. Unless Ramani decides to drop out of the race, the two will face one another again during the Nov. 2 general election for the full two-year term. He referred to the alleged collusion as "generic nonsense that mentions my name."
"I think they are skirting around the libel laws by putting it in a complaint," Gatto said.
Roman Porter, executive director of the commission, also received a complaint last week against Ramani alleging that he violated campaign finance law by failing to file requisite campaign statements within 24 hours.
The commission this week determined that the allegations "appear to be accurate" and gave him until Monday to provide proof that he had reported within the deadlines.
Ramani's campaign manager, John Thomas, said the demand letter from the commission's enforcement division was missing information.
"Our people have a call into the FPPC to find out what's going on," Thomas said.