ETHICS COMMISSION IMPOSES FINES TOTALING $162,500

For Immediate Release: February 16, 2021
Contact: Nancy Jackson (213) 978-1960

The Ethics Commission approved five stipulated orders at its meeting today, imposing fines totaling $162,500 for violations of the Municipal Lobbying Ordinance.  The ordinance requires lobbyists and lobbying firms to register with the Ethics Commission and report their lobbying activity on a quarterly basis.

Velada Consulting, LLC (Velada) and its sole owner, David Vela (Vela), admitted that they failed to register as lobbying entities in 2020 and failed to file a disclosure report for the second quarter of 2020.  Velada and Vela were collectively fined $7,500.

The four remaining orders involved Craig Fry & Associates, LLC (CFA) and three of its employees:

  • CFA was fined $56,250 for failing to register as a lobbying firm in 2017, 2018, and 2019 and for failing to file disclosure reports for each quarter in those years.
  • Craig Fry, a former City official who is CFA’s co-founder and president, was fined $63,750 for failing to register as a lobbyist in 2017, 2018, and 2019, for failing to file disclosure reports for each quarter in those years, and for making and failing to report a prohibited campaign contribution.
  • Michael Rueda, a CFA project manager, was fined $22,500 for failing to register as a lobbyist in 2018 and 2019 and for failing to file disclosure reports for three quarters in 2018 and all four quarters in 2019.
  • Larry Mondragon, CFA’s vice president, was fined $12,500 for failing to register as a lobbyist in 2018 and for failing to file disclosure reports for each quarter that year.

“The public has a vital interest in knowing who is attempting to influence City action,” said Melinda Murray, President of the Ethics Commission.  “Today’s cases underscore the importance of that transparency and the accountability that applies to everyone who engages in City lobbying.”   

Additional information about the Municipal Lobbying Ordinance is available on the Laws [ethics.lacity.org/laws/#lobbying] and Publications [ethics.lacity.org/publications/#lobbying] pages of the Ethics Commission’s website.

All penalties 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.

To download PDF, click here.

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.

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