SD Rostra

Attorney General and FPPC reviewing complaints against Steve Vaus

Attorney General and FPPC reviewing complaints against Steve Vaus

Vaus could face thousands of dollars in fines for non-reporting of at least $45k in donations he solicited for Carols by Candlelight event

by Ken Moser

Poway resident and Democratic Activist Torrey Powers recently filed complaints with the California Attorney General and the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC), demonstrating that Poway Mayor Steve Vaus did not file Form 803 “Behest Payment Reports” prior to 2017, which are required when elected officials solicit donations to charitable organizations and events.

Vaus’s annual Carols by Candlelight is advertised to raise money for Rady Children’s Hospital.

The Form 803 reports are required out of concerns that non-profit donors may do so to curry favor with the elected officials who request such contributions, and to make those donations available as public information.

Vaus has stated that the event has raised over $1 million in the three decades since it’s inception.

Documentation shows that Carols by Candlelight received donations of at least $45,000 in years Vaus was on the Poway Council or Mayor, but he did not file the reports as required. Vaus has been an elected official since 2012, but reports have only been filed since 2018.

A previous Rostra story reported on claims that Vaus’s non-profit was suspended for not filing tax returns and that ticket sale proceeds go directly to Steve Vaus Productions.

The Attorney General’s office acknowledged receipt of the complaint from Powers on October 14, 2020.

Additional source information:

FPPC Torrey Powers complaint scan with exhibits

Complaint to California Attorney General regarding a charity

Communication with Vaus acknowledgement that Carols by Candlelight ticket sales are not tax deductible and go to Steve Vaus Productions

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Ken Moser is a former member of the San Diego Community College Board of Trustees and current executive director of the United Senior Advisory Council, a 501(c)(3).

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