The Buzz: FPPC delays decision on Berryhill money-laundering case

FPPC panel still absorbing evidence in donation flap

Another state senator accused of violating political ethics rules will have to wait longer to learn his fate after the California Fair Political Practices Commission adjourned Thursday without acting on the case.

Authorities say state Sen. Tom Berryhill, R-Twain Harte, former Assemblyman Bill Berryhill, and Republican central committees in Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties, seeking to skirt political donation limits, colluded on moving Tom Berryhill contributions through the central committees to help his brother’s 2008 campaign. An administrative law judge heard the evidence last fall and recommended a $40,000 fine for “serious and deliberate” violations.

Tom Berryhill has said he donated to the central committees with no strings attached. He only hoped that the money would go to help his brother win a competitive Assembly race.

Commissioners considered the judge’s recommendation Thursday. After hearing from commission enforcement chief Gary Winuk and Berryhill’s attorney, Charles Bell, the panel met in closed session and then announced it would take the matter under submission.

– Jim Miller

Worth repeating

“It has been unfortunate to see the majority party delay and undermine this proposal at every step.”

CONNIE CONWAY, Assembly GOP leader, on Democrats’ approach to creating a rainy-day fund.