By Jeff Horseman | jhorseman@scng.com | The Press-Enterprise
March 23, 2018 at 4:17 pm

California’s campaign finance watchdog wants to impose $36,500 in fines on a water district board member, in part for not closing a legal defense fund for his unsuccessful fight to serve on two elected bodies at the same time.

The Fair Political Practices Commission did not act Thursday, March 22 in the ongoing case concerning Gil Navarro. But it did impose a $9,000 penalty in a case stemming from a 2012 effort to pass a $153 million bond measure in the Perris Union High School District.

Navarro, who serves on the San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water District board, did not respond to phone messages seeking comment.

He previously served on the San Bernardino County school board and ran for state Assembly in 2010 and 2014. While still on the school board, Navarro was elected to the water district board in 2012, prompting a legal fight with his school board colleagues over whether he could serve in both capacities.

A court eventually booted Navarro off the school board. But according to FPPC staff, Navarro kept his legal defense fund open even after his legal costs were paid. He also failed to file legally required reports showing the fund’s contributors and spending since mid-2013, commission officials alleged in a written filing.

Navarro’s Assembly campaign committee hasn’t filed disclosure reports for contributions and spending since mid-2014, and there have been 23 attempts by FPPC staff since May 2013 to contact Navarro, officials added.

Navarro is facing nine violations that carry a total of $45,000 in potential fines. Officials cited past cases in recommending Navarro be fined $36,500.

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