Col. Richard Shigley USMC Ret.
Sen. Ben Hueso was caught for the third time failing to properly disclose campaign expenditures. A PRA complaint for failing to disclose approximately $74,000 in expenditures was submitted late last year to the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) and District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis (DA). A lawsuit for that complaint was filed on 1/11/16, in San Diego Superior Court against him and his treasurer Nancy Haley, after the DA’s office authorized the new filing on 1/5/16. Hueso’s attorney Stephan Kaufman all but admitted the new violations in a legal pleading in another ongoing PRA lawsuit that was scheduled for trial later this month. Kaufman wrote regarding $65,775.49 of unreported accrued legal fees for defending Hueso & Haley, that they “were inadvertently omitted from the committee’s original report.” However the complaint and suit detail several thousand dollars in other expenses that were also not reported. Along with the undisclosed legal fees, these are all now listed on an amended report hastily filed three days after Plaintiffs pointed out the glaring errors to Judge Katherine Bacal, in a legal brief. Both Defendants signed the erroneous campaign report under penalty of perjury. The other suit is also for not properly reporting legal defense expenses as was one filed against Hueso in 2009.
Last week, Judge Bacal confirmed a stipulation by all parties to consolidate the two cases, which postponed the upcoming trial. Both suits were filed under provisions of California Government Code §91004 by activists Col. Richard Shigley and Ken Moser. The combined suits seek over $85,000 in civil penalties plus attorney fees.
Hueso, who is currently on probation for a 2014 DUI, has a history for each of his political campaigns that encompass a long list of violations bringing about warnings, fines, or settlements in addition to the current suits:
1st campaign – 2005 San Diego Unified School Board, multiple violations for failing to report legal defense fees. He paid $10,750 to settle the matter.
2nd campaign – 2006 San Diego City Council, multiple violations including exceeding contribution limits. He had to pay a record $17,000 fine to the San Diego Ethics Commission.
3rd campaign – 2010 State Assembly, he illegally funneled $25,000 from his Assembly campaign funds to a union Political Action Committee to benefit his brother’s City Council Campaign for his old seat. He paid a $2,000 FPPC fine (page 26 – case 2010/1041). In addition, he was issued a warning letter by the FPPC for failing to disclose non-monetary contributions.