Assembly Judiciary chairman warned over gift violation
The chairman of the Assembly Judiciary Committee violated the state's gift rules when he accepted an expensive dinner and award from the group Consumer Attorneys of Los Angeles, according to California's ethics watchdog agency.
The gift accepted by Assemblyman Mike Feuer (D-Los Angeles) was worth $495, which exceeded the $420 gift limit for legislators, according to Gary Winuk, the chief of enforcement for the state Fair Political Practices Commission.
Winuk said he decided to issue a warning letter rather than seeking fines in the matter because Feuer eventually reimbursed the trial lawyers group for a portion of the gift, although the action was too late to comply with the state Political Reform Act.
Feuer was found in violation because the reimbursement happened about 10 months later. To comply with the act, he would have had to make the reimbursement within 30 days.
"However, because you ultimately paid down the difference between the value of the gift and the Act's $420 gift limit, and you do not have a past history of violating the Act's gift limit provisions, we are closing this matter with a warning letter," Winuk wrote.
A Feuer spokeswoman said the the dinner was valued at $150, but the assemblyman belatedly learned that the mostly acrylic plaque awarded by the group was surprisingly expensive, costing $345. When he realized the gift exceeded the limit, he immediately wrote a check for $75, said spokeswoman Arianna Smith.
-- Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento
Photo: Assemblyman Mike Feuer (D-Los Angeles). Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times