Update on Developer Front Group Investigation

December 3, 2010

Before the recent election, SMCLC filed a Complaint with the Santa Monica City Attorney regarding violations of city election law by the developer front group Santa Monicans for Quality Government (SMQG). Earlier this week, SMCLC wrote to the City about the status of its investigation of SMQG.

Today, we have good news to report.

The Santa Monica City Attorney is referring the matter to the Los Angeles District Attorney for investigation and possible criminal prosecution. The highly regarded Public Integrity Division in the D.A's office will now conduct the investigation.

The District Attorney has broad powers to investigate whether a crime was committed under Santa Monica's Municipal Code, to determine all those who were responsible, and based on its findings, to seek criminal sanctions for the repeated, orchestrated refusal of SMQG to timely report any of the contributions it received from developers, and those who work for them, to the City of Santa Monica and its voters as required by law.

The failure to timely report who was funding SMQG affected the outcome of the City Council election as vital information was withheld from voters in this race. The developers who paid for four deceptive mailers have big development projects which will come before the very City councilmembers they secretly financed through SMQG. The President of SMQG was the political consultant for two of these City councilmembers.

The decision by SMQG not to timely report vital funding information to the electorate made a mockery of the election process and cast a cloud over the election. The integrity and transparency of the election process is crucial to a free and democratic society.

Thanks for supporting our efforts.
Diana, Victor, Sherrill, Susan and Jeff


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