A state ethics commission on Thursday fined former Contra Costa County elections chief Joe Canciamilla $150,000 — one of its largest penalties of the year — for illegally spending $130,529 of campaign funds on a vacation in Asia, a remodel of his Hawaii home and other personal expenses in the last several years.
The Fair Political Practices Commission leveled the fine by unanimously approving a settlement stemming from a Franchise Tax Board audit that revealed Canciamilla violated campaign laws more than 30 times, then provided false information and doctored bank statements to hide his financial misconduct.
At Thursday’s meeting in Sacramento, commissioner Allison Hayward said she finds it “particularly repugnant” when politicians direct campaign funds for personal use
“It’s not about moving country forward,” she said. “This is taking resources supposed to be doing that and sucking it into someone’s personal lifestyle. It’s misleading donors and has a smell of fraud to it. Then there’s the tax evasion.”