Folsom/El Dorado News

EID agrees to fine for including board members’ photos in district newsletter

The El Dorado Irrigation District has agreed to pay a $1,500 fine for violating California’s Political Reform Act by including photos of the district’s elected board members in a newsletter mailed to customers with their bills.

According to the proposed agreement with the state’s Fair Political Practices Commission, the violation occurred when photos of the district’s five board members appeared on the front page of the January-February 2013 issue of The Waterfront, the district’s newsletter, which was produced and mailed to customers at public expense. The district serves more than 100,000 residents in western El Dorado County.

The Political Reform Act prohibits public agencies from including photos of elected officials of the agency in mailings of more than 200 items per calendar month that are produced and mailed at public expense. According to FPPC documents, irrigation district staff members who prepared the newsletter were not aware that including the photos violated the Political Reform Act.

The FPPC noted that the commission in a similar case in June fined the city of Rocklin $2,000 for sending a mailer at public expense that featured the mayor and members of the City Council, as well as a message from the mayor.

The commission will consider approving the proposed fine for the El Dorado Irrigation District at its Nov. 20 meeting.

Call The Bee’s Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.