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INVESTIGATIONS INTO LOBBYIST SCANDAL DROPPED

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

The U.S. Attorney’s Office, the FBI and the California Fair Political Practices Commission have all dropped investigations into boasts made on tape by former Assemblyman Mike Duvall (R-Orange County), who claimed to have had sexual relationships with lobbyists. An Orange County newspaper and other media reported that one of those lobbyists worked for Sempra Energy/SDG&E.  However the investigations apparently failed to substantiate the claims and concluded that no further inquiry was warranted. 

POLITICAL PORK? COMMON CAUSE CALLS FOR FPPC TO INVESTIGATE LOBBYIST SEX SCANDALS; NOTES SEMPRA CONTRIBUTIONS TO BASS & BROWN

 By Miriam Raftery

October 15, 2009 (Sacramento) – A lobbyist scandal in Sacramento has given new meaning to the term “pork” in politics. Ever since former Assemblyman Mike Duvall squealed on tape about bedding two lobbyists, critics have called for an investigation. Now the non-partisan citizens watchdog group Common Cause has called on the Fair Political Practices Commission to open an investigation into whether the female lobbyists violated state law by engaging in affairs with Duvall, an Orange County Republican who resigned in disgrace after his boasts were made public. An Orange County newspaper has identified one of the women as a lobbyist for Sempra Energy/SDG&E.

 

“Voters need to know how widespread this practice is of lobbyists literally getting into bed with legislators, and since the Legislature and Attorney General have both abandoned any investigation it is now incumbent upon the FPPC to take this on,” said Derek Cressman, Western States Regional Director for Common Cause.

FBI OPENS INVESTIGATION INTO SEMPRA/SDG&E LOBBYIST SCANDAL

Assembly Ethics Committee Drops Its Investigation

By Miriam Raftery

October 5, 2009 (Sacramento) – The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has launched an investigation info former Assemblyman Michael Duvall’s claims of having a sexual affair with a female lobbyist, the Los Angeles Times reports. The woman has been identified as a lobbyist for Sempra Energy/SDG&E by an Orange County newspaper. Duvall was a member of the utility company overseeing public utilities.

SEMPRA LOBBYIST SEX SCANDAL SPARKS CALL FOR LOBBYING REFORMS

By Miriam Raftery
September 13, 2009 (Sacramento) –Last week, Assemblyman Mike Duvall (R-Orange County) resigned after bragging on videotape about sexual romps with lobbyists— including a lobbyist representing SDG&E and its parent company, Sempra Energy, according to an Orange County newspaper. Now Common Cause and the Courage Campaign have launched an online petition drive calling for lobbying reform legislation.  In an e-mail sent to Californians, Courage Campaign asks provocatively, “Are you tired of getting screwed by hypocritical lawmakers?"

EAST COUNTY ACTIVIST FILES ETHICS COMPLAINT AGAINST SEMPRA/SDG&E LOBBYIST; ATTORNEY COULD FACE DISBARMENT

September 11, 2009 (Boulevard) – Donna Tisdale, Chair of the Boulevard Planning Group (photo), has filed a formal ethics complaint with the California Bar Association against Sempra/SDG&E lobbyist Heidi DeJong Barsuglia. Barsuglia has been implicated in a sex scandal involving Assemblyman Mike Duvall, as we have previously reported

 

In an e-mail to East County Magazine, Tisdale noted that the Secretary of State’s Office website indicates Barsuglia completed an ethics course. “Guess the training did not stick,” Tisdale observed wryly.

SEMPRA ISSUES VIDEO STATEMENT ON LOBBYING SCANDAL, LAUNCHES INTERNAL INVESTIGATION

By Miriam Raftery

September 10, 2009 (San Diego) – Sempra Energy today issued a video statement expressing “shock” at news that a lobbyist for the company has been implicated in a sex scandal with Mike Duvall (R-Orange County), vice chair of the Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee. Duvall resigned yesterday, after his videotaped boasts were widely publicized, as East County Magazine reported, but now claims his taped statements were untrue. The comments were made in a committee room prior to a televised hearing, with Duvall apparently unaware that a microphone was live. 

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