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FBI questions aides of former Assemblyman Mike Duvall [Updated]

October 2, 2009 | 10:50 am


Former Assemblyman Michael Duvall’s recorded boasts that he had sexual relations with a woman believed to be a lobbyist have drawn the attention of the FBI, whose agents have begun questioning associates of the disgraced Republican from Yorba Linda.

Agents have talked to at least two former employees of Duvall, including his chief of staff, Carolyn Ginno, to determine whether there is evidence of criminal wrongdoing that could lead to an investigation, according to people familiar with the inquiries.

"We did make contact with the two aides," said Special Agent Steve Dupre, a spokesman for the FBI. He declined to comment further.

Duvall resigned Sept. 9 after a videotape was widely distributed in which he told another assemblyman, on an open microphone, about sexual relations with a woman later identified in media reports as a lobbyist for a public utility company. Duvall, who is married, was vice chairman of the Assembly's Utilities Committee.

Ginno and other aides to Duvall did not return calls for comment.

[Updated at 12:55 p.m.: The Assembly had been conducting its own investigation of Duvall’s actions, but that will be halted because the Legislature's lawyer said today that Duvall's resignation means the Legislative Ethics Committee no longer has that jurisdiction.

Legislative Counsel Diane F. Boyer-Vine advised lawmakers that the authority of the committee "is limited to determining whether a member of the house may continue to serve as a member of the house," an issue made moot by the resignation.

Assembly Speaker Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles), however, asked that the co-chairs of the committee help her develop safeguards "to ensure that the relationships between legislators and legislative advocates ... remain totally aboveboard and consistent with the public's best interests."]

-- Patrick McGreevy in Sacramento

Photo credit: Times file