Former Sen. Dutton issued warning over political fund violation
Former State Sen. Bob Dutton (R-Rancho Cucamonga) violated the Political Reform Act when he used funds from his political officeholder account to buy his old state car, according to the state ethics agency, but he is only getting a warning letter, not fines.
Dutton violated a provision of the law aimed at preventing politicians from benefiting personally from their campaign funds, according to a letter by Gary Winuk, chief of enforcement for the state Fair Political Practices Commission.
Winuk said the Act "prohibits the use of campaign funds to purchase a vehicle if title to the vehicle is held by the elected officer controlling the committee."
Dutton used $12,681 in political officerholder funds, raised from campaign contributors, to buy a 2005 Chevrolet Tahoe that was registered in his name.
The vehicle had been owned by the state before the perk of free cars was taken away and the state auctioned the cars off to dealers. Dutton purchased it from Maita Toyota, his campaign statements show.
"However, because, as you stated, the title was jointly held by you and the committee in order to obtain insurance for the vehicle, and because you have since sold the vehicle and returned the funds from the sale to the ... Senator Bob Dutton Officeholder Account, we are closing your case with this warning letter," Winuk wrote.
-- Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento
Photo: Former state Sen. Bob Dutton (R-Rancho Cucamonga) shown at work last year. Credit: Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press