Contra Costa County District Attorney Mark Peterson announced on Monday that he had reached an agreement with the Enforcement Division of the Fair Political Practices Commission regarding use of campaign funds during 2011-2015. The Enforcement Division will present the agreement to the Commission for its approval on December 15, 2016.
Following is his statement on the matter:
“I served as the treasurer of my own campaign committee from 2011 until 2015, after which I hired a professional paid treasurer. During that five-year period, I borrowed, in increments, a total of $66,373 from the Mark Peterson for District Attorney 2014 Committee. I used the funds to pay for day-to-day expenses, like meals, gas, cell phone bills, and other personal expenses. I considered the money a loan, kept track of those expenses at all times, made periodic repayments, and over time, repaid the Committee in full.
In 2015, the Franchise Tax Board (FTB) contacted me about a routine audit. In response, I hired a professional treasurer and immediately contacted the Enforcement Division of the FPPC to make them aware of the expenditures and my plan to address my error. I cooperated fully and provided my contemporaneous records regarding the expenditures and reimbursements for their review, as well as all of the underlying documents.
The FPPC Enforcement Division has noted: ‘To his credit, upon learning of the FTB audit Peterson contacted the Enforcement Division, admitted his violations and fully cooperated with the investigation.’
It is with disappointment and regret that I acknowledge the mistakes I made regarding my campaign financing account. As a result of these mistakes, I have agreed to pay the Fair Political Practices Commission a $45,000 administrative fine.
Although I have fully reimbursed the Committee for all of the personal expenditures, I make no excuses.
I am humbled and embarrassed by my mistakes, for which I take full responsibility, and I apologize for my regrettable errors.”
Mark Peterson, Contra Costa County District Attorney
In a further comment on the issue he said, “This matter is still under consideration by the FPPC, so this is the only public comment I am making on the matter.”