Priya Mathur is the Vice President of the CalPERS Board of Administration, and she is currently seeking re-election to serve a fourth term on the Board. Her tenure requires her to submit semi-annual campaign financial statements and statements of economic interest.
But the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC), California’s political watchdog agency, says Mathur failed to submit her campaign financial statements in a timely manner four separate times in 2012 and 2013.
And it’s not the first time Mathur has failed to turn in required documentation in a timely manner—the FPPC has fined Mathur three times in the past for similar offenses after she failed to submit statements on time in 2002, 2007, 2008 and 2010. From the LA Times:
This is not Mathur’s first run-in with the ethics panel. The commission has taken enforcement actions against Mathur three other times in the last nine years, fining her a total of $13,000.
The fines could become an issue in her current reelection campaign, with mail-in balloting running from Aug. 29 to September 29.
“I find it interesting that she feels she doesn’t have to comply with these standards,” said Mathur’s opponent, Leyne Milstein, the finance director of the city of Sacramento. “We all need to be held accountable if we want to represent the public.”
The fine and settlement agreement follow a series of filing lapses by Mathur that were investigated and prosecuted. The commission fined her $3,000 in April 2010, and $4,000 in May of that year for failing to file on time legally required statements of economic interest for 2007 and 2008.
As a result, Mathur’s board colleagues punished her by stripping her of a chairmanship of the health committee and temporarily suspending her travel privileges. However, they subsequently voted to make her vice president of the board.
In 2006, Mathur paid a $6,000 fine for not properly filing financial documents after her initial 2002 election to the CalPERS board.
The FPPC is expected to formally approve the charges against Mathur at its next meeting on August 21. Mathur is not disputing the charges.
Gary Winuk, the FPPC’s chief of enforcement, had this to say:
“Failing to file a campaign statement is a serious violation of the Act because it deprives the public of important information about a candidate’s financial activities,” he told the LA Times.
Photo by Blake O’Brien via Flickr CC License