The state’s nonpartisan campaign watchdog is investigating San Bernardino County District Attorney Michael Ramos for failing to report a $10,000 campaign payment to his wife in 2008.

“We will investigate the allegation,” said Roman Porter, spokesman of the Fair Political Practices Commission, which has the ability to fine officials up to $5,000 per reporting violation.

Last week Ramos filed an amended Form 700 income disclosure document covering 2008, nine months after he filed the original form on Feb. 9. He added a $10,000 payment for the position of “campaign administrative assistant.”

His campaign committee, the Friends of Mike Ramos, had already reported a $10,000 payment to Ramos wife for “campaign services” between January and June 2008, according to the committee’s form 460 filed July 31, 2008. Gretchen Ramos, his wife of 28 years, reportedly performed a range of campaign duties for her husband including fundraising.

California reporting law requires public officials to report a spouse’s income of $1,000 or more, unless funds come from a government agency.

In a statement released last week Ramos said he regretted the “error,” which he attributed to a “misinterpretation” of disclosure requirements.

The FPPC sent a letter announcing the investigation on Tuesday to Ramos and the unnamed person who filed the complaint, Porter said. The commission has no timeline for when the investigation will be completed.
Natasha Lindstrom may be reached at (760) 951-6232 or at