CalWatchdog Morning Read – September 29

  • CalWatchdogLogoSoCal school district using loophole to pay board members for meetings they didn’t attend
  • CA suspends investment accounts with Wells Fargo over scandal
  • Rep. Janice Hahn sued by opponent over $324,000 in illegal campaign funds in L.A. supervisors race
  • Gov. Brown vetoes bullet train accountability measure
  • Outside spending in legislative races almost at $5 million

Trustees of the El Monte Union High School District have been drawing monthly stipends even when they haven’t attended board meetings, possibly violating state and internal policies.

CalWatchdog found at least nine instances since 2015 where stipends were paid despite absences, although a loose interpretation of what constitutes a meeting provided a loophole.

While not a large sum of money, the lack of accountability over trustee stipends builds on a lawsuit and scathing news report earlier this year that the district was either not tracking millions in bond expenditures or hiding the records.

CalWatchdog has more. 

In other news: 

  • “California Treasurer John Chiang hit Wells Fargo Bank with the loss of state investments and other sanctions Wednesday, punishing the mammoth bank for ‘fleecing’ customers who had credit cards and other accounts fraudulently opened in their names. Other state and local governments should follow suit, he said.” The Sacramento Bee has more. 

  • “Steve Napolitano has filed a lawsuit against his rival in the 4th District race for the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, U.S. Rep. Janice Hahn, for allegedly failing to return more than $324,000 in illegal political campaign contributions,” reports the Daily Breeze.

  • “Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday rebuffed lawmakers’ efforts to subject California’s $64-billion bullet train project to increased financial scrutiny, vetoing a bill that had gained bipartisan support,” writes the Los Angeles Times

  • “Following a trend that began in the months prior to June’s statewide primary, contributions to independent committees seeking races for the Legislature have now blossomed to more than $4.8 million,” writes the Los Angeles Times.

Legislature:

  • Gone ’til December. 

Gov. Brown:

  • Signing a bill that will automatically enroll employees into private retirement accounts. In Sacramento, around 9:30 a.m. For more on this legislation, see our story from March. 

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