Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Councilman Sarega fined for Political Reform Act violations

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Updated 2/22/22 6:30 p.m.

La Mirada News has learned that La Mirada City Council member Andrew Sarega has entered into an agreement with the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) pending final approval acknowledging six violations of state campaign law during his bid for a second term in 2017.

Sarega will pay a fine of $1,636 as a result of those violations.

An FPPC investigation into Sarega and the candidate-controlled campaign committee 'Sarega for Council 2017' found four violations of the Political Reform Act that requires a notification to the commission within 24 hours anytime a contribution of $1,000 or more is received. 

The agreement states the most serious violation occurred on February 28, 2017, when Sarega failed to notify the commission that he or the committee he controlled paid for an advertisement/mass-mailing just over a week before the election.

Sarega was also fined for twice failing to file statements reporting contributions and expenditures in a timely manner in January and February 2017.

The fine is the third handed down by the FPPC from investigations that were spearheaded by La Mirada Lamplighter Publisher and Editor Brian Hews into the 2017 city elections that included allegations that Sarega, La Mirada Blog owner Tony Aiello a failed candidate in the same election had coordinated their campaigns with outside election committees as evidence by the use of the same Texas firm that specializes in printing and sending out election mailers according Hews reported in the Lamplighter.

No action was taken on the allegations made by Hews but the FPPC fined Aiello $750 last October  for failing to file three required contribution reports within 24 hours as required by law.

Sarega is nearing the end of his second term on council and it is unclear if he will run for a third term in the June elections. 

During an unsuccessful run for the Congressional 39th District seat in 2018 Sarega vowed he would not run again in campaign materials mailed to voters at the time stating he supported term limits adding that any politician that is unable to accomplish their goals in 8 years will not do so in additional terms in office.

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