For Immediate Release: February 22, 2017
The Ethics Commission unanimously approved six stipulated orders yesterday, imposing fines totaling approximately $105,130. The orders touched on each of the bodies of law enforced by the Ethics Commission.
Four of the cases involved violations of the mandatory reporting requirements of the City’s Municipal Lobbying Ordinance. Three of the cases involved a lobbying firm, Crest Real Estate, and two of its lobbyists, Jason Somers and Anthony Russo. Each of those respondents was fined $15,000 for failing to register as a lobbying entity and failing to disclose City lobbying activity. In the fourth case, Cisco Systems Inc. was fined $12,500 for failing to accurately disclose its City lobbying activities.
The fifth case involved campaign finance violations during the 2013 City election cycle. Emanuel Pleitez and his campaign committee, Emanuel Pleitez for L.A. Mayor 2013, were fined $36,250 for failing to maintain documentation necessary to complete mandatory campaigndisclosure statements and failing to file copies of eight campaign communications.
In the sixth case, John Ek (Ek), a City lobbyist, was fined nearly $11,381 for violating gift restrictions imposed by the Governmental Ethics Ordinance, which prohibits lobbyists from offering gifts of any value to certain City officials. In May 2015, Ek hosted an event that cost over $51,260 and improperly invited 37 City officials to the event.
“The Ethics Commission’s actions send a clear message that persons who violate the City’s campaign finance, lobbying, and governmental ethics laws will be held accountable,” said Sergio Perez, Director of Enforcement for the Ethics Commission.
All fines imposed by the Ethics Commission are paid to the City’s general fund. Copies of enforcement actions and related decisions and orders are available at ethics.lacity.org.
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The Ethics Commission was created by Los Angeles voters in 1990 to impartially administer and enforce the City’s governmental ethics, campaign financing, and lobbying laws.