Friday, April 07, 2006

TIM STOEN'S LETTER TO THE FPPC

Paul Gallegos' and Tim Stoen's efforts to privately fund the PL lawsuit took many forms.

In this letter to the FPPC regarding Raising Funds for prosecution of District Attorney Lawsuit Against Pacific Lumber Company, Stoen actually asks:

"5. If necessary, could I make a contribution from my personal funds to pay for deposition costs even though I am the attorney prosecuting the case?"

The full text of that letter will be posted as the first comment in this post.

The next post is the FPPC's response.

Do you think it is OK for the prosecuting attorney to be so vested in the lawsuit he is prosecuting against you that he will put his own money in to fund it?

What else will Stoen and Gallegos do "for the cause"?

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RELATED:
Read second - GALLEGOS' REQUEST FOR OPINION
The complete text of Paul Gallegos' REQUEST FOR OPINION, which he submitted to the Attorney General's Office

TIM STOEN'S LETTER TO THE FPPC
Paul Gallegos' and Tim Stoen's efforts to privately fund the PL lawsuit took many forms.

THE FPPC RESPONSE TO STOEN
The full text of the FPPC's response to Tim Stoen's letter regarding "Raising Funds for prosecution of District Attorney Lawsuit Against Pacific Lumber Company."

SUBMISSION TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OPINIONS DEPARTMENT regarding Gallegos' Request for Opinion and Salzman's Plan

1 comment:

Rose said...

Stoen's letter to the FPPC - Available as a Public Records Act Request
The letter that prompted the FPPC Advice Letter...File No. A-03-185

Humboldt County DA letterhead

dated August 13, 2003

Fair Political Practices Commission
428 J Street, Suite 620
Sacramento, CA 95814

Attn: Dixie Howard:

Re: Raising Funds for prosecution of District Attorney Lawsuit Against Pacific Lumber Company

Dear Ms. Howard:

Thanks you so much for sending me a copy of the FPPC Advice Letter, Your File No. A-03-130, addressed to the Ventura County District Attorney and Sheriff. In that letter the FPPC appears to approve the District Attorney and Sheriff raising money from citizens and organizations to pay a private law firm representing them in their official capacities, subject to the following three conditions:

(1) all payments made at their behest must be disclosed and treated as a contribution,
(2) all payments must be made to a single committee bank-account, and
(3) all contributors must be notified of the specific amount allocated to each such committee.

FACTUAL SCENARIO

If I have interpreted your advice letter correctly, I would appreciate very much your responding to a number of questions based on a highly similar factual scenario involving the Humboldt County District Attorney's office. In February 2003, our office filed, in the name of the People of the State of California as plaintiff, a civil action against the pacific Lumber Company under Section 17200 of the Business and professions Code (the Unfair Competition Law). The Board of Supervisors has not given us any money in our budget to pay for the costs of prosecuting this action. We anticipate needing $20,000 to pay for necessary depositions as part of our discovery costs.

The lack of county money to pay for necessary costs in prosecuting this action has caused our office a major dilemma. Section 17206(a) requires our office to bring an action, "in the name of the ..."

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"...people of the State of California," if any person violates any provision of the Unfair Competition Law ("Any person who violates any provision of this chapter shall be liable for a civil penalty..., which shall be assessed and recovered in a civil action brought in the name of the people of the State of California... by any district attorney...."). But we cannot keep this statutory obligation unless we raise money from the citizens to pay for the necessary expenses of prosecuting such an action.

To resolve this dilemma, our office proposes, subject to your approval, to solicit citizens and organizations to raise money toward these expenses by such activities as concerts.

QUESTIONS

Assuming (a) that all funds raised are deposited in a single bank account in the name of the District Attorney's campaign committee, (b) that these amounts are treated as contributions and duly reported, and (c) that all contributors are advised in advance that all of the moneys contributed will be used for the prosecuting of the lawsuit against Pacific Lumber, our questions are as follows:

1. May the District Attorney solicit citizens and organizations to put on concerts and engage in other activities to raise funds to pay for costs in prosecuting the lawsuit?

2. May such funds be used to pay for depositions and other non-attorney costs?

3. May such funds be used to retain the assistance of a private law firm, which would be paid for work done on an hourly basis?

4. What is the limit, if any, as to the amount of contribution any single person could make?

5. If necessary, could I make a contribution from my personal funds to pay for deposition costs even though I am the attorney prosecuting the case?

a. If so, what contribution limit, if any, would I be subject to?

Thank you for your kindness in responding so quickly to out past inquiries. We are most appreciative.

Sincerely,

Timothy O. Stoen
Assistant District Attorney
County of Humboldt

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