By Patrick McGreevy
Former state Sen. Tony Strickland (R-Moorpark) on Thursday reached an agreement with California's political watchdog group in which he admitted violating campaign finance laws and will pay a $40,000 fine.
The state Fair Political Practices Commission approved the settlement, which replaces an $80,000 fine recommended originally by its enforcement staff before Strickland admitted to the violations.
The commission found that Strickland played a role in earmarking campaign contributions made to his 2010 campaign for state controller by supporters whose money went through two county Republican committees to disguise its source.
“We are pleased Mr. Strickland accepted responsibility for the violations,” said Galena West, the chief of enforcement for the FPPC. “The maximum fine imposed sends a message that this type of activity will be aggressively prosecuted and will not be tolerated.”
Strickland said he decided to settle the six-year-old case “in order to move forward.” “I am very pleased that this matter has been resolved,” he told The Times in an email. “But, I want to be clear that there was no money laundering. I never solicited a party donation for me. In 2010, I was one of the top fundraisers in the state and raised money for the Republican ticket.”
This year, Strickland is chairman of the Committee for American Sovereignty, a super PAC supporting Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.