Lovingood said Monday that the violations stemmed from a “disagreement centered on the definition of the word ‘income'” — or net versus gross revenue, of which he believed rules were framed by the former, and the Fair Political Practices Commission, the latter.
By Shea Johnson, Staff Writer
Posted: Mar 6, 2017 at 6:07 PM
Updated: Mar 6, 2017 at 7:04 PM
San Bernardino County 1st District Supervisor Robert Lovingood violated Fair Political Practices Commission rules by failing to timely disclose income sources of $10,000 or more to his staffing company in 2013 and 2014. He was fined and paid $6,000 to settle four counts lodged against him.
Lovingood, who was recently appointed chairman of the board, failed to initially disclose any sources of income of $10,000 or more on economic interest forms filed in March 2012, January 2013, April 2014 and March 2015, the FPPC said. The forms covered periods in 2013 and 2014.
But he later amended those filings to show that he, in fact, had received $10,000 or more through the company from several sources.
Lovingood said Monday that the violations stemmed from a “disagreement centered on the definition of the word ‘income'” — or net versus gross revenue, of which he believed rules were framed by the former, and the FPPC, the latter.
“As a businessman, I considered, and still do, income to mean the amount of money received by my company after paying direct expenses,” he said in a statement through his attorney, Diana Carloni. “As a result, my reading of the rules meant I do not report any client where the funds actually received by my company were less than $10,000.”
He added that he opted to settle the case instead of fighting it in court, and he vowed to file his economic interest forms by “the FPPC’s definition of ‘income'” in the future.
In amending his March 2012 candidate Statement of Economic Interests (SEI) form four years later, he reported four sources of $10,000 or more received through ICR Staffing Services, of which he is co-owner. In his Assuming Office SEI, he three years later reported seven such sources through the staffing company.
In his 2013 annual SEI, he ultimately disclosed five sources; and in his 2014 annual SEI, he disclosed four sources.
“The failure to timely disclose his economic interests violates one of the (Political Reform) Act’s central purposes,” FPPC officials wrote in a supporting document. “… (T)hat the assets and income of public officials and designated employees that may materially affect their official decisions should be disclosed in order to avoid conflicts of interest.”
But officials also “did not find Lovingood had an actual conflict of interest or any intent to conceal his financial interests.”
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Lovingood has no history of previously violating the California Political Reform Act, which regulates campaign lobbying, financing and conflicts of interests.
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