Kinde Durkee, the campaign treasurer for many prominent California Democrats whose arrest last week on a federal fraud charge rocked the political world, was slated to be released Friday on $200,000 bond.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Jay C. Gandhi ordered Durkee released on the condition that she relinquish her signing authority on all bank accounts belonging to her business, Durkee & Associates, and on the accounts of its clients. She also is barred from accessing business records or emails and from having contact with employees of the firm -- other than her husband, sisters, niece and nephew -- and she may not discuss business activities with the relatives who work there.
A federal complaint accuses Durkee of siphoning more than $677,000 from the campaign account of Assemblyman Jose Solorio (D-Santa Ana) and filing false campaign reports to cover up the theft. The complaint alleges that other clients were victimized in a similar fashion and that Durkee used the funds to make mortgage payments and cover credit card bills for trips and shopping excursions.
Durkee has not been indicted and has not entered a plea.
Her attorney, Daniel V. Nixon, said he is not prepared to comment on the allegations contained in the complaint. But he told the judge, "She is not going to have anything to do with any bank accounts having anything to do with that business."
Nixon said the accounts Durkee currently controls will be transferred back to her clients.
Officials also said the U.S. attorney's office is preparing to file a motion to place a lien on Durkee & Associates and on Durkee's home.
Her next scheduled court appearance is Oct. 19 in Sacramento. L.A. NOW