Capitol Alert: Jerry Brown, Gavin Newsom to get warning letters in FPPC case

dsiders@sacbee.comFebruary 7, 2014 

Governor Business Leaders

Gov. Jerry Brown speaks at the California Chamber of Commerce's annual Host Breakfast in Sacramento on Wednesday, May 22, 2013.

RICH PEDRONCELLI — AP

Gov. Jerry Brown and Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom are among state officials who will receive warning letters in the California Fair Political Practices Commission's investigation of a firm headed by a Sacramento lobbyist who held lavish fundraisers for politicians at his home, a source said.

Thomas Willis, whose law firm represents Brown, Newsom, state lawmakers and various political committees, said in an email that his firm has not seen any warning letters.

"What we can say is that our clients properly paid and disclosed all known expenses," he wrote. "Of course, they did not disclose expenses that they were not made aware of."

In addition to Brown and Newsom, as many as 40 elected officials are expected to receive warning letters from the commission in the case, in which Sloat Higgins Jensen and Associates, a lobbying firm headed by Kevin Sloat, has reached a tentative agreement with FPPC staff to pay fines involving violations of state political disclosure rules.

The action was prompted by a lawsuit filed in Sacramento Superior Court against Sloat and his firm in December by a disgruntled former employee under investigation for embezzlement. The former employee claimed Sloat's elaborate events amount to non-monetary campaign contributions that lobbyists are not permitted to give.

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