Mark Kirk

Mark Kirk

Joe Nelson, Staff Writer
Posted: 05/18/2013 07:48:47 PM PDT
Updated: 05/18/2013 07:49:35 PM PDT

Two years after being indicted in a major San Bernardino County corruption case, Mark Kirk is back in the political arena.

His consulting company, The Paideia Group, worked on Ontario Mayor Paul Leon’s unsuccessful bid for state Senate, taking in $36,145.97 in fees between January and April for services including the provision of information technology, campaign literature and mailings, office expenses and phone banks. In addition, Leon accrued $43,113.13 in unpaid expenses for services rendered by The Paideia Group for the same period, according to campaign finance reports.

Leon stressed that Kirk – the former chief of staff for San Bernardino County Supervisor Gary Ovitt, and who has denied any wrongdoing in a far-reaching corruption scandal for the past two years – was not his campaign consultant and only provided essential services that allowed him to compete with his opponent Norma Torres.

“All that Mark Kirk did was provide me with equipment and technology that he had, and he was willing to contract to me for a very good price so I could be competitive,” Leon said Wednesday, the day after Torres defeated him in a special election, capturing 59 percent of the vote to Leon’s 41 percent.

Leon, however, would not specify what technology Kirk provided, but he did say Tuesday that his campaign produced a YouTube video that was seen by 300,000 people.

Kirk, 38, of Hesperia, started the Redlands-based Paideia Group in April 2012 with his wife, Erin, listing “consulting services” as the business type. The company is operated under the umbrella corporation Legalzoom.com, according to the company’s filings with the Secretary of State.

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