By Daniel Borsuk
Former Contra Costa County Recorder-Clerk Joseph Canciamilla, who resigned abruptly on Thursday, Oct. 31st, has agreed to pay the California Fair Political Practices Commission fines totaling $150,000 for the misuse of political campaign funds for County Record-Clerk and as a candidate for Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge, the Contra Costa Herald has learned.
CFPPC spokesman Jay Wierenga informed the Herald on Friday afternoon that Canciamilla has paid the penalties, but the commission will have to approve the payment at the commission’s November 21 meeting in Sacramento.
“He has paid the penalties,” confirmed Wierenga. Attempts to reach Canciamilla at his Pittsburg Funeral Chapel and home were unsuccessful.
The four-person FPPC commission, currently with one vacancy, will consider at a 10:00 a.m. hearing on Thursday, November 21 the following:
“In the Matter of Joseph Canciamilla for Contra Costa County Clerk/Recorder in 2014/2018, Friends of Joe Canciamilla for Judge 2012/2014, and Joseph Canciamilla; FPPC No. 17/146. Staff: Neal Bucknell, Senior Commission Counsel and Bob Perna, Program Specialist II. The Respondents were represented by the Law Office of Andreas Rockas and the Law Offices of Wayne Ordos. This matter arose from an audit performed by the Franchise Tax Board’s Political Reform Audit Program. Joseph Canciamilla is the former Contra Costa County Clerk-Recorder and Registrar of Voters, as well as a former candidate for Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge. Joe Canciamilla for Contra Costa County Clerk/Recorder 2014/2018 and Joe Canciamilla for Judge 2012/2014 are his candidate-controlled committees. In 2011, 2014, and 2015 Canciamilla used campaign funds for personal purposes which were unrelated to a political, legislative, or governmental purpose, in violation of Government Code Sections 89510, subdivision (b), 89512, and 89513, subdivision (a) (15 counts). From 2011 through 2019 this activity was concealed on campaign statements by other reporting violations including non-reporting and overstatement of available cash on hand, in violation of Government Code Section 84211 (14 counts). Also, in 2011 Canciamilla and his judge committee commingled campaign funds with personal funds, in violation of Government Code Section 84307 (1 count). Total Proposed Penalty: $150,000 — $75,000 (Canciamilla personally) and $75,000 (Canciamilla and his committees).”
The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors voted at Tuesday’s meeting to begin its selection process of a new County Clerk Recorder beginning, today, Nov. 8 with the acceptance of applications and to appoint a new Clerk-Recorder on Feb. 4.
Canciamilla was unavailable to comment for this report.