Kamala Harris

Attorney General Kamala Harris, who is pictured at an event in Los Angeles in September, has been cleared by the FPPC. Harris was cleared after cutting a $10,245 check back to the gift-or, after an inquiry was opened. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

Phil Willon
November 20, 2015

A state ethics agency has determined that California Atty. Gen. Kamala Harris did not violate state laws when she received gifts from a company owned by San Francisco interior designer Ken Fulk.

However, Harris did pay Fulk $10,245 for work done to her apartment in San Francisco after investigators from the Fair Political Practices Commission launched the inquiry.

Fulk had provided Harris with design ideas and furniture options and “repaired a wall in her kitchen, painted a portion of her living and dining rooms, installed wallpaper and ordered some furniture and area rugs,” according to a Nov. 20 agency letter detailing the inquiry that was sent to Harris’ attorney.

Harris, who is running for U.S. Senate, already had made three “substantial payments” to Fulk for his services even though she had yet to receive an invoice. After being contacted by the commission, Harris requested an accounting of the amount still owed and made the $10,245 payment, the letter stated.

In the letter, Galena West, chief of the commission’s enforcement division, said the state ethics law that limits gifts given to elected officials includes exemptions that applied in this matter. The first is for gifts given by a “close personal friend” who is not affected by a decision being made by the elected official. The second is for people who have an existing personal relationship with the government official and the individual providing the gift is not a lobbyist and does not have any business relationship with the government official’s agency.

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