Joe Nelson, Staff Writer
Posted: 01/23/2010 09:37:01 PM PST

The California Fair Political Practices Commission is investigating five Inland Empire lawmakers for allegedly failing to report hundreds of dollars worth of gifts in 2008.

The five are among 38 state lawmakers who are being investigated for allegedly failing to report gifts and other perks including meals, beverages, parking tabs and tickets to sporting venues and theme parks valued at more than $8,000.

FPPC spokesman Roman Porter said the investigation is pending.

“At this time there’s no determination if there were any violations,” Porter said, adding that penalties for reporting violations range from written warnings to fines of up to $5,000.

The five Inland Empire lawmakers, and the gifts the commission is saying they allegedly failed to report in 2008, are:

Assemblywoman Wilmer Amina Carter, D-Rialto, a $260 breakfast from the Lumber Association of California and Nevada and a $53 reception from the California Cable and Telecommunications Association.

State Sen Robert Dutton, R-Rancho Cucamonga, $101 in food and beverages from California Professional Firefighters.

Assemblyman Paul Cook, R-Yucca Valley, a $56 ticket to a George Strait concert by the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Mission Indians.

Assemblyman Bill Emmerson, R-Rancho Cucamonga, $64 for a legislative reception by the Lumber Association of California and Nevada.

Assemblyman Anthony Adams, R-Claremont, $100 for airport parking and shuttle service from Los Angeles.

Carter said Friday she was surprised when she got wind of her hefty breakfast tab. She admits to having the breakfast, but is wondering why it was valued at $260.

She said her staff is looking into the matter and working to resolve the mystery of the expensive breakfast.

“It was just regular eggs and juice and toast. Just a regular breakfast, so I’m not sure why it cost that much,” Carter said.

As for the reception, Carter said she did not eat or drink, but the California Cable and Telecommunications Association, which hosted the event, could have mistakenly reported that she did.

“We never got a letter from them saying they reported their reception, so we’re in the process of correcting that error right now,” Carter said.

The predicament, Carter said, has prompted her to be more aware.

“To me, it’s a wake-up call to be conscious of the process,” Carter said.

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