GG councilman calls foul on official

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Garden Grove City Councilmember and candidate for the Orange County Board of Supervisors District 1 filed a complaint for violation of the FPPC California Code of Regulations Section 18901 against incumbent Supervisor Andrew Do for mass mailings sent at public expense. 

Public officials are prohibited from sending mass mailings at public expense which include more than a single mention of the elected officer and further prohibit public officials from mailing an announcement of any event which is not directly related to the elected officials’ governmental duties.

Garden Grove City Councilmember and candidate for the Orange County Board of Supervisors District 1 filed a complaint for violation of the FPPC California Code of Regulations Section 18901 against incumbent Supervisor Andrew Do for mass mailings sent at public expense. 

Public officials are prohibited from sending mass mailings at public expense which include more than a single mention of the elected officer and further prohibit public officials from mailing an announcement of any event which is not directly related to the elected officials’ governmental duties.

“In recent weeks my constituents and others have reported receiving several mass mailings from Supervisor Andrew Do, paid for by the County of Orange, “said Bui.  “These mailings clearly violate regulations that were adopted to protect the taxpayers from public officials using taxpayer funds for political self-promotion.  I demand Supervisor Do to immediately and personally reimburse the County of Orange for the cost of producing and distributing these unlawful mailings.”

California places strong restrictions on the use of public funds to inform voters. In the Supreme Court case of Stanton vs. Mott, defendant William Penn Mott, Jr., director of the California Department of Parks and Recreation had authorized the department to expand more than $5,000 of public funds to promote the passage of a park bond.  

The court held “a public agency may not expend public funds to a partisan position in an election campaign” and concluded that a public official may be held personally liable to repay expended funds if they fail to exercise due care in authorizing the expenditure of the funds.

According to Bui, there is evidence that Supervisor Do has mailed more than 20 mass mailings at public expense which may violate state law and intends to mail 10 or more additional political self-promotion mailers before Election Day on June 7.

In his addition to his FPPC complaint, Councilman Bui filed a public records act request with the County of Orange asking for a complete list of mass mailings that Andrew Do’s office has sent at public expense which contains his name from the beginning of 2016 to June 7. This request also asks for copies of the mailings, the cost of producing them, the names of the vendors that were involved and any communication by Supervisor Do or his staff relating to these mailings.