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OC Supervisor Andrew Do likely to see $12,000 fine over campaign finance issues – Orange County Register

Orange County Supervisor Andrew Do is expected to pay a $12,000 fine to the state’s campaign finance watchdog agency for violations of “pay-to-play” rules and paperwork filed late between 2015 and 2017.

The Fair Political Practices Commission will vote July 21 on whether to assess the fine and settle the case with Do, who later corrected the paperwork issues and has agreed to the settlement, according to FPPC documents. Neither Do or his attorney could be reached for comment.

The commission’s investigation was triggered by two complaints: one filed in 2016 by Garden Grove Councilman Phat Bui, who challenged Do for the supervisor seat that year; and the other made in 2018 by longtime OC ethics watchdog Shirley Grindle.

Bui raised questions about Do’s involvement with fundraising for statues planned at Mile Square Park in 2015. Because his deputy chief of staff solicited donations for the project on his behalf, Do was required to file public reports on any payments within 30 days, an FPPC report said; he apparently didn’t file some of them until months or years later.

Grindle’s complaint was about Do’s participation in votes on contracts involving campaign donors.

Between 2015 and 2017, Do’s campaign for the Board of Supervisors got donations totaling $12,500 from two lobbyists and the spouse of one of them. After being appointed in 2016 by his fellow supervisors to the board of CalOptima, the county’s insurer for the poor, Do took part in decisions on CalOptima contracts with those lobbyists, the report said.

Under state law, Do should have disqualified himself from voting on the lobbying contracts with his campaign donors and publicly explained why, the FPPC said. Do told the agency that CalOptima staff didn’t notify him of the apparent conflict of interest.

The FPPC report noted the violations appear to be “the result of negligence” rather than intentional deception, and that Do corrected the paperwork problem later. But as he is a former Orange County prosecutor, elected official and former chief of staff to a county supervisor, the report said, “it is fair to say that Do is a sophisticated public official who had ample reason to know and understand the requirements” of the applicable law.

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