FPPC says union donation to Twin Rivers board president was legal

Published: Tuesday, Apr. 9, 2013 - 12:00 am | Page 3B
Last Modified: Tuesday, Apr. 9, 2013 - 7:57 am

Twin Rivers Unified board President Cortez Quinn legally accepted money from the teachers union to help pay a previous fine from the Fair Political Practices Commission, the watchdog agency determined Monday.

The commission launched a review last week of the $7,000 payment from the Twin Rivers Unified Educators political action committee.

"He's allowed to raise money and expend it for that purpose, and raising money for the PAC is legal," said Gary Winuk, enforcement chief for the FPPC.

The watchdog agency was exploring whether Quinn could use a new campaign contribution to retire his fine for nondisclosure of personal loans and receiving a personal gift. A review of state regulations helped commission officials determine the payment was proper.

"I'm pleased that the FPPC came to that decision," said Quinn.

The teachers union PAC wrote the check in February to help Quinn pay off a $14,000 fine levied by the FPPC. Quinn was fined after the watchdog agency found he had illegally accepted $55,000 in personal loans from a district employee in 2010 and 2011 without reporting them on financial disclosure statements. He also illegally accepted a gift of $4,000 from the same woman.

The Political Reform Act prohibits elected officers of local government agencies from receiving loans of more than $250 from employees and gifts of more than $420.

Quinn's fine will again be a topic of discussion at a Twin Rivers Unified school board meeting at 7 p.m. today. The school board is expected to consider whether to set a public hearing to discuss removing Quinn as president.

Call The Bee's Diana Lambert, (916) 321-1090. Read her Report Card blog at http://blogs.sacbee.com/report-card/.

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