By Ryan Hagen Staff Writer
Posted: 01/13/2011 07:06:56 AM PST

COLTON – The police association violated campaign law by failing to register as a Political Action Committee or file campaign disclosure statements, a complaint by the community activist group Citizens for Colton First alleges.

The state Fair Political Practices Commission says that it will investigate the allegations.

Steve Cade, a member of Colton First, said he tried to determine the source of the Police Officer Association’s funding and discovered the decades-old union had not reported the required information.

Cade said the discovery casts doubt on the credibility of the group, which has sparred with Colton First during several election cycles.

“It boils down to this: the very people that have been enforcing the law violated campaign law,” Cade said. “Transparency must come before anything else, and they haven’t been doing that for years. They’ve been operating in secret, and that’s not acceptable.”

Union representatives said they were investigating.

“We’re taking the matter very seriously,” said Officer Greg Castillo, president of the association. “Our attorneys have all the necessary paperwork and we are actively correcting any issues that may have come up recently or in the past.”

California law imposes the requirements on any group that, during a calendar year, receives more than $1,000 or spends that amount in independent expenditures.

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