Wednesday, June 20, 2001
City Ethics Commission Agrees to Fine Ridley-Thomas, Campaign Manager $10,000 Over Officeholder Account
By a MetNews Staff Writer
The Los Angeles city Ethics Commission yesterday agreed to accept $10,000 in fines from Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas and his campaign treasurer for inadequate reporting and improper use of the councilman’s officeholder account.
Under the stipulated agreement adopted by the commission, Ridley-Thomas and support committee treasurer Ida Yarbrough agreed to pay $5,000 each. They acknowledged making 10 improper payments from the account at a time when the councilman was running for re-election, a payment to an organization that lacked tax-exempt status, and 35 payments that were not properly reported on city disclosure forms until an Ethics Commission audit.
Officeholder accounts are funds set up by elected officials to accept private contributions, which may be used to pay for anything deemed to serve or communicate with constituents.
City law requires expenditures from such accounts to be reported, and limits their use during campaign season in order to avoid an unfair advantage for incumbents.
Commission officials said the fines were the first ever imposed for failure to use the proper city forms in disclosing officeholder account expenditures. City forms require more information that the parallel state forms.
Copyright 2001, Metropolitan News Company