Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday signed legislation that pays $106,173.50 to former San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed to cover legal expenses he incurred during a successful legal fight with the state.
The payout stems from a 2013 ruling by the California Fair Political Practices Commission that Reed’s pension reform committee illegally gave $100,000 to another group. But after concluding Reed had not intended to break the law, the commission fined him just $1 dollar.
Reed could have paid the buck and moved on, but instead he took the commission to court. A judge ruled that the law cited to fine Reed infringed on his freedom of speech rights. Victory in hand, Reed then negotiated a settlement with the commission, which agreed to pay his legal fees.
It’s not clear how soon the state’s check will be in the mail. It depends on how soon the State Controller’s Office receives the appropriate paperwork, controller’s spokesman John Hill said, and then it takes about 10 days to process it.
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Meanwhile, Reed and former San Diego Councilman Carl DeMaio are gearing up to put a public-pension measure on the November 2016 statewide ballot. When asked during an interview with The Sacramento Bee this week whether the campaign had collected any money, Reed said the group had not.