For Immediate Release: October 22, 2019
Contact: Nancy Jackson (213) 978-1960
The Ethics Commission unanimously approved four stipulated orders at its meeting today, imposing fines totaling $136,000 for lobbying and campaign finance violations.
Three of the cases involved violations of the registration and reporting requirements of the Municipal Lobbying Ordinance. Lobbying entities are required to register and report their lobbying activity to help the public identify who is attempting to influence City action.
Pacific Crest Consultants (Pacific Crest) and two of its lobbyists, Chris Parker and John Parker, admitted that they failed to register as lobbying entities and file quarterly disclosure reports from the second quarter of 2017 through the fourth quarter of 2018. Pacific Crest and Chris Parker were each fined $22,500, and John Parker was fined $20,000.
The fourth case involved 1181 N. Hillcrest Road, LLC (Hillcrest LLC), a limited liability company owned and managed by developer Bruce Makowsky. Hillcrest LLC admitted to reimbursing ten of its employees and business associates who contributed to Joan Pelico’s 2015 City Council campaign committee (Pelico for City Council 2015). Enforcement staff found no evidence to indicate that Joan Pelico knew the contributions were reimbursed. Hillcrest LLC also admitted to making contributions in excess of the $700 per-person limit.
The City’s campaign finance laws prohibit contributions that are made in the name of anyone other than the true source of the funds, because such contributions deprive the public of information about who financially supports candidates. Reimbursed contributions can also be used to circumvent the contribution limits.
“Each of these enforcement actions underscores the importance of transparency in Los Angeles City government,” said Melinda Murray, President of the Ethics Commission. “The Ethics Commission continues to place a high priority on transparency and to hold accountable those who would obscure either lobbying activity or the sources of contributions.”
All fines levied by the Ethics Commission are paid to the City’s general fund. Enforcement orders can be viewed and searched through the Ethics Commission’s Public Data Portal.
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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.