By Joe Nelson, The Sun
Posted: 03/06/17 – 7:06 PM PST
The state Fair Political Practices Commission has fined San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors Chairman Robert Lovingood $6,000 for failing to properly report various sources of income over a 4-year period.
According to a stipulation published on the commission’s website, Lovingood, of Apple Valley, agreed to pay the fine in connection with four violations of the Political Reform Act – all for failing to timely disclose sources of income on statement of economic interest forms, also known as Form 700s. Lovingood was fined $1,500 for each violation, according to the document published on the FPPC website. The commission is scheduled to ratify the action at its March 16 meeting.
Elected officials and public employees who make or influence government decisions are required to report their sources of income, assets and other financial interests on the forms, which are public record.
Lovingood, elected First District county supervisor in November 2012 and who in December assumed the role as chairman of the Board of Supervisors, failed to report to the state various sources of income of more than $10,000 for the years 2012 through 2015.
Lovingood owns two staffing businesses, ICR Staffing Services and Industrial Commodity Recruiter, which operates under the Robert A. Lovingood umbrella corporation.
Among the public entities from which Lovingood received more than $10,000 in income over the stated time period but failed to report include the Lucerne Valley Unified School District, the cities of Victorville and Hesperia, the Victor Valley Wastewater Reclamation Authority, the Mojave Water Agency, and the Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District, according to the FPPC.
Additionally, Lovingood, in his capacity as county supervisor, voted on at least 42 matters involving nine of his staffing clients. Those nine clients were the Town of Apple Valley, Calico Ghost Town, city of Hesperia, Lucerne Valley Unified School District, Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District, Mojave Water Agency, Southwest Gas, Victor Valley Wastewater Reclamation Authority, and the city of Victorville.
“However, the (FPPC) Enforcement Division did not find Lovingood possessed a financial conflict of interest when voting on these matters,” the document states. “Lovingood asserts he sought advice from County Counsel prior to participating in any vote involving a staffing client to ensure compliance with the (Political Reform) Act.”
In a statement Monday, Lovingood said he agreed to pay the fine to resolve a disagreement he had with the FPPC on the matter.
“Our disagreement centered on the definition of the word “income.’” Lovingood said in his statement. “As a businessman I considered, and still do, income to mean the amount of money received by my company after paying direct expenses. 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.”
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