By Torey Van Oot
Published: Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011 – 12:00 am | Page 3A

The new chairwoman of the state’s Fair Political Practices Commission has come under fire from a fellow appointee to the five-member panel, who said she is working to “help politicians who don’t like the FPPC regulations.”

Commissioner Ronald Rotunda blasted Chairwoman Ann Ravel’s handling of several major issues that the commission has considered in recent months, including a revamp of gift regulations and whether to aid politicians whose accounts have been affected by the case of a prominent Democratic campaign treasurer accused of fraud.

“They say that not even the devil knoweth the mind of man, so I don’t presume to know what is her intent … (but) I know she acts like someone who wants to deconstruct a good chunk of the FPPC,” Rotunda said in an interview Friday evening.

The Chapman University law professor, a Republican appointed to the commission in 2009 by state Controller John Chiang, called Ravel’s effort Thursday to win approval of a sweeping overhaul of the rules governing gifts to officials “mind-boggling,” considering he first saw the latest version that morning.

He also accused Ravel, a Democrat appointed to the post in February by Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown, of allowing agency staff members and its new general counsel, also a Brown appointee, to take actions that he said should be left up to the commission.

“Under her theories, there isn’t much role for the commission except to be a little window dressing,” he said.

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