Enforcement

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Mission of the Enforcement Division:

The mission of the Fair Political Practices Enforcement Division is to fairly, effectively and efficiently enforce the provisions of the Political Reform Act.

What We Do:

The Act gives the Division the authority to investigate and administratively prosecute violations of the Political Reform Act. A violation of the Act may be prosecuted for a penalty fine of up to $5,000 for each violation. The team of Enforcement Division investigators, attorneys, auditors, political reform consultants and support staff works vigorously to ensure that cases are handled swiftly, effectively and fairly.

Enforcement Process:

Enforcement Fact:

Since 1975, the Enforcement Division has prosecuted more than 2,400 cases and the Commission has imposed more than $20 million dollars in fines based on Enforcement actions.

A matter will be fully investigated when there is sufficient information to believe that a violation of the Act has occurred. Information regarding potential violations of the Act comes from citizen complaints, referrals from other governmental agencies, media reports, audit findings or may be identified internally.

When sufficient evidence exists to prove a violation of the Act, the Enforcement Division will bring a prosecution action to the Commission, or may issue a Warning Letter, depending upon the facts of the case and the public harm caused. If the evidence is insufficient to warrant prosecution, a case may be closed with an Advisory Letter or without violation.

The Enforcement Division also operates a campaign audit program of both mandatory and discretionary audits.

How to File a Complaint:

Anyone who suspects a violation of the Act should file a sworn complaint with the Enforcement Division. To file a complaint click the button below.

Violations of the Act include:

  • Conflict of interests,
  • Campaign money laundering,
  • Gift limit violations,
  • Campaign mass mailing at public expense,
  • Failure to file or report all interests on required Statements of Economic Interest
  • Inadequate, untimely, or no filing of required campaign statements and reports,
  • Improper campaign reporting,
  • Improper receipt of campaign funds, including receiving funds from anonymous sources and contributions in excess of limits,
  • Improper expenditures of campaign funds, including using campaign funds for personal use.

Violations do NOT include:

  • False or misleading campaign materials,
  • Election fraud,
  • Misuse of public funds unrelated to campaign mass mailing,
  • Violations of the Elections Code, the Penal Code, or any laws other than the Political Reform Act,
  • Issues related to Federal campaigns,
  • Open meeting law issues (Brown Act, Bagley-Keene),
  • Local ordinances,
  • Vandalism of campaign signs.
  • Residency requirements for running for or holding office.
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