Thursday, March 19, 2015

Gibson McElhaney Paid Substantial Fine for Failing to File Campaign Finance Disclosure Statement

By Darwin BondGraham
Thu, Mar 19, 2015 at 1:15 PM

click to enlarge Councilmember Lynette Gibson McElhaney. - BERT JOHNSON/FILE PHOTO
  • Bert Johnson/File Photo
  • Councilmember Lynette Gibson McElhaney.
Council President Lynette Gibson McElhaney has paid a large fine to the city of Oakland for her failure to file campaign finance statements on time. According to a letter from Tamika Thomas of the Oakland City Clerk’s Elections and Compliance Unit sent to Gibson McElhaney on January 21, the fine was $1,730.

(See the end of this post for a copy of Thomas’ letter to Gibson McElhaney.)

After the Express reported on Gibson McElhaney’s un-filed campaign finance statements, Oakland resident Barbara Tengeri filed a complaint with the California Fair Political Practices Commission, the state's primary political watchdog agency. After investigating the matter, the FPPC issued a stern warning letter on March 13 to Gibson McElhaney and her campaign treasurer Brigitte Cook. The FPPC found that Gibson McElhaney violated the law by failing to file her semi-annual campaign statement due July 31, 2014 in a timely manner, but the commission decided not to levy a fine because the councilmember had already paid one to the city. “[S]ince that statement has now been filed and since you paid the City of Oakland a substantial penalty for that late filed statement, we are closing our file on this matter,” concluded the FPPC warning letter signed by Galena West, acting chief of the FPPC’s Enforcement Division.


Gibson McElhaney eventually filed two disclosure statements on January 20 and 30 revealing her political fundraising activities for the 2014 calendar year. Over that period she raised $16,844 from fifty contributors.

Top donors who gave the maximum allowable $700 to Gibson McElhaney included Jon Wright, a business associate of major West Oakland foreclosure investor Neill Sullivan, business and real estate industry lobbyist Gregory McConnell, OUSD public relations executive Isaac Kos-Read, and trash and recycling company Recology.

Other notable contributors to Gibson McElhaney in 2014 included former Oakland Mayor Elihu Harris, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, and Oakland Concilmembers Dan Kalb and Rebecca Kaplan.




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