Lawsuit against Hueso alleges numerous campaign violations

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A lawsuit filed today in San Diego Superior Court alleges a number of violations of the Political Reform Act by State Senator Ben Hueso. Local activist Ken Moser, one of those filing the suit, holds no punches in a brief interview with Rostra. “Most people forget that Ben Hueso was a friend of former City Councilman Ralph Inzunza,” said Moser. “When Ralph was indicted, Hueso inherited his seat. Inzunza ended up doing time at the United States Penitentiary in Atwater after being convicted on federal corruption charges.  Hueso in my opinion actually has a worst history of corruption when you look at his sordid history of campaign violations.”

From a press release received this afternoon

Senator Ben Hueso and treasurer facing huge lawsuit for violations of Political Reform Act

A multi-count suit against State Senator Ben Hueso was filed today in San Diego Superior Court, case #37-2014-00031507-CU-MC-CTL (https://roa.sdcourt.ca.gov/roa/ *), as a follow-up to a complaint filed last December with the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) and District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis.

Filed under provisions of California Government Code Section §91004 by local activists Col. Richard Shigley and Ken Moser, the suit alleges numerous violations of the Political Reform Act (PRA) including perjury, failure to disclose in-kind contributions, misuse of campaign funds and failure to properly disclose expenditures.

The suit in large part claims that Hueso illegally diverted funds from both his 2010 and 2012 State Assembly accounts to pay for both the costs and settlements for a previous PRA lawsuit stemming from his failed bid for San Diego Unified School Board in 2005.

The suit seeks over $122,000 in civil penalties.

Hueso has a long history of campaign law violations and paying fines and settlements:

First campaign — 2005 San Diego Unified School Board, multiple reporting violations. Hueso paid a $10,750 civil settlement. See case number 37-2009-00081703-CU-MC-CTL at prior link (also included Exhibit 1 of new suit at link below*).

Second campaign — 2006 San Diego City Council, multiple violations including exceeding contribution limits. Hueso paid a then record $17,000 fine to the San Diego Ethics Commission.

Third campaign — 2010 State Assembly, $25,000 illegal campaign donation from campaign funds to union PAC to benefit his brother’s City Council campaign for his old seat. Hueso paid a $2,000 FPPC fine.

Col. Shigley commented: “I’m amazed that we continue to elect people like Ben Hueso to make our laws that they then ignore. He might take a page from his supporter Bob Filner’s book, and resign.”

* Download lawsuit here.

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Comments 4

  1. Maybe I missed something, but isn’t this something the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) and District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis would handle, and not a civil suit?.

  2. You may be correct. But, a lawsuit was filed. Maybe there is a reason, considering the release states…

    “A multi-count suit against State Senator Ben Hueso was filed today in San Diego Superior Court … as a follow-up to a complaint filed last December with the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) and District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis.”

  3. To clarify the question put forward by Bill and Thor, Government Code §91003 allows for a citizen to file such an action 120 days after a complaint has been filed with the FPPC and local DA if they have done nothing. The FPPC had already fined him $2000 for misuse of the same account but for different reasons so they didn’t want to go there again and the DA always lets the FPPC handle these. As the press release detailed, he previously had been fined by the San Diego Ethics Commission $17,000 also for misuse of campaign funds.

    Lastly regarding Democratic hack W.C. Varones comments. I’ve been involved in just three of these suits, one of which was against Hueso as the story details. The only thing that’s serial is wrong way Ben’s plethora of campaign violations.

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