By Dan Weikel
March 25, 2013, 2:47 p.m.

California Treasurer Bill Lockyer on Monday expanded his request for a legal opinion to determine if some local education officials and the financial underwriters they hire are violating state law by campaigning for school bond measures.

In a second letter to California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris, Lockyer asked her office to also consider financial advisors and bond counsel that are employed as consultants to help school districts prepare bond issues.

Lockyer first contacted Harris a week ago when he requested that she render a formal opinion on the conduct of school officials and underwriters as it relates to political campaigns for school bonds.

The state treasurer said a legal opinion is needed because some arrangements between school districts and firms that sell bonds “raise substantive questions” about whether the officials are using public money to conduct campaigns advocating the passage of bond measures—an action banned by state law.

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