By Joe Nelson Staff Writer
Posted: 02/17/2011 09:36:48 PM PST

The state Fair Political Practices Commission has decided that a $30,000 fine is too small for a San Manuel tribal lobbyist and former legislative aide who failed to report $840,000 in lobbying payments over a two-year period.

Frank J. Molina, whose Sacramento company, Strategic Solutions Advisors, represents several California Indian tribes, admitted to violating the Political Reform Act when he failed to report the payments on quarterly disclosure statements between January 2007 and December 2009, according to the FPPC.

Molina agreed to pay a $30,000 fine, but the commission, on a 4-1 vote at its Feb. 10 meeting, decided the amount was inappropriate and instructed staff members to consider a higher fine, said FPPC spokesman Roman Porter.

Before starting his lobbying firm in January 2007, Molina worked in the state Legislature from 1998 through 2006.

He was a senior adviser to majority leaders of both the Assembly and state Senate, and was chief consultant to the chair of the Latino Legislative Caucus. Molina was also chief of staff for then-Assemblyman Simon Salinas, D-Salinas.

Molina’s infractions consist of 12 counts of violating the Political Reform Act, carrying a maximum administrative penalty of $60,000, the FPPC said.

Some commission members felt Molina should have known better, given his extensive political and legislative experience.

“From their viewpoint, the egregiousness of the violation warranted a higher fine amount,” Porter said.

Neither Molina nor his attorney, Lance Olson, could be reached for comment.

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