38th Assembly mudfight taken to Smith’s home front 

By Kevin Kenney

Last update: Friday, October 21st, 2016

 

Christy Smith, the Democratic nominee for the 38th District Assembly seat, advised voters back in September to check out Republican opponent Dante Acosta’s Financial Industry Regulatory Authority broker page.

She was hoping to call their attention to three complaints – or “disclosure events” – filed against Acosta during his days as a financial adviser.

But now the story has turned into a case of, people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw mud.

That’s because Smith’s political foes are now pointing out that Smith’s broker/investment adviser husband has had two FINRA complaints filed against him.

The FINRA broker page for Philip N. Smith, a broker and investment adviser for a Woodland Hills firm, shows disclosure events in 2015 and 2009 – the most recent of which was “denied,” or found to have had no basis, while the other was settled for just over $40,000 with no admission of fault or liability.

“Disclosures” can be defined as any customer complaint or arbitration, regulatory action, employment termination, bankruptcy filing and any civil or criminal proceeding that the broker was a part of, according FINRA.

Christy Smith, in an interview this week with The Signal, confirmed those disclosure events concerned her husband – but also said, “My husband is not running for public office, I am.’’

“I’m the candidate, and we should be focusing on the candidates,’’ Smith said. “He (Acosta) is promoting himself as a qualified and credible candidate.”

Asked for specific comments on the disclosure events on her husband’s FINRA page, Smith, a Newhall School Board member, declined — saying, “No, because he’s not running. Particularly for a woman candidate … would people ask about a male candidate’s wife?’’

For his part, Acosta, a Santa Clarita City Councilman and Mayor Pro Tem, said, “This is something I’m personally staying away from. People have been using the word ‘hypocrisy,’ but I don’t want to go there.”

Smith first lobbed the financial funny-business charges against Acosta at a Sept. 20 candidates forum sponsored by the Valley Industry Association.

In her closing remarks that day, Smith told those gathered that, “Mr. Acosta’s business success is not everything it’s made out to be” – and she directed them to Acosta’s FINRA page. At the time, Acosta called the move “a cheap shot.”

Regarding the FINRA investigations into Acosta’s three disclosure events — one each in 2002, 2003 and 2004 — two of the cases were “denied,” while the third, in 2004, was settled for $35,000 after the customer had sought $82,000.

“I have never been fined or sanctioned,’’ Acosta, who is no longer an active financial adviser, said in September. “These are routine issues. Businesses deal with routine and frivolous claims all the time.”

For the record, Philip Smith’s FINRA page shows he has been registered at his current firm since December 1996.

Christy Smith also fired back to those who criticized her for going negative starting at that Sept. 20 candidates’ forum — saying family matters should be off-limits.

“I certainly would not bring up anything related to Dante’s personal life here,’’ she said.

Smith and Acosta are vying for the Assembly seat being vacated by Republican Scott Wilk, who is running for State Senate.

kkenney@signalscv.com

(661) 287-5525

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38th Assembly mudfight taken to Smith’s home front 

Christy Smith, Dante Acosta

 

Christy Smith, the Democratic nominee for the 38th District Assembly seat, advised voters back in September to check out Republican opponent Dante Acosta’s Financial Industry Regulatory Authority broker page.

She was hoping to call their attention to three complaints – or “disclosure events” – filed against Acosta during his days as a financial adviser.

But now the story has turned into a case of, people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw mud.

That’s because Smith’s political foes are now pointing out that Smith’s broker/investment adviser husband has had two FINRA complaints filed against him.

The FINRA broker page for Philip N. Smith, a broker and investment adviser for a Woodland Hills firm, shows disclosure events in 2015 and 2009 – the most recent of which was “denied,” or found to have had no basis, while the other was settled for just over $40,000 with no admission of fault or liability.

“Disclosures” can be defined as any customer complaint or arbitration, regulatory action, employment termination, bankruptcy filing and any civil or criminal proceeding that the broker was a part of, according FINRA.

Christy Smith, in an interview this week with The Signal, confirmed those disclosure events concerned her husband – but also said, “My husband is not running for public office, I am.’’

“I’m the candidate, and we should be focusing on the candidates,’’ Smith said. “He (Acosta) is promoting himself as a qualified and credible candidate.”

Asked for specific comments on the disclosure events on her husband’s FINRA page, Smith, a Newhall School Board member, declined — saying, “No, because he’s not running. Particularly for a woman candidate … would people ask about a male candidate’s wife?’’

For his part, Acosta, a Santa Clarita City Councilman and Mayor Pro Tem, said, “This is something I’m personally staying away from. People have been using the word ‘hypocrisy,’ but I don’t want to go there.”

Smith first lobbed the financial funny-business charges against Acosta at a Sept. 20 candidates forum sponsored by the Valley Industry Association.

In her closing remarks that day, Smith told those gathered that, “Mr. Acosta’s business success is not everything it’s made out to be” – and she directed them to Acosta’s FINRA page. At the time, Acosta called the move “a cheap shot.”

Regarding the FINRA investigations into Acosta’s three disclosure events — one each in 2002, 2003 and 2004 — two of the cases were “denied,” while the third, in 2004, was settled for $35,000 after the customer had sought $82,000.

“I have never been fined or sanctioned,’’ Acosta, who is no longer an active financial adviser, said in September. “These are routine issues. Businesses deal with routine and frivolous claims all the time.”

For the record, Philip Smith’s FINRA page shows he has been registered at his current firm since December 1996.

Christy Smith also fired back to those who criticized her for going negative starting at that Sept. 20 candidates’ forum — saying family matters should be off-limits.

“I certainly would not bring up anything related to Dante’s personal life here,’’ she said.

Smith and Acosta are vying for the Assembly seat being vacated by Republican Scott Wilk, who is running for State Senate.

kkenney@signalscv.com

(661) 287-5525

About the author

Kevin Kenney

Kevin Kenney

Over 30-plus years, Kevin Kenney has been a writer and editor for United Press International, the New York Post and Fox Sports, among other outlets. He joined The Signal in 2016.

  • Brian Baker

    “Because I am a woman”.

    Oh, boo hoo.

    Dem/socialist women all act like delicate little snowflakes… when it suits them. Then whine about a mythical “glass ceiling”.

    Pfttt…

  • I find it unique in how The Signal, a media company that should be reporting the facts on the candidates chooses to cover the spouses and not the candidates themselves. It is a good thing Christy Smith is running and not her husband. Also, unique in how they mention nothing in regards to Dante’s financial record other than it was brought up. Good to see that our paper is just bought out by the Good Ole’ Boy’s Club.

    Also find it unique how comments disappear from before. Good job Signal at keeping media accurate and transparent.

  • CaroleLutness

    Oh the hypocrisy of the Signal’s Editorial Board to withhold their endorsement of Christy Smith for having sent out a Hit Mailer about Dante Acosta’s association with a local hate group when 8 years ago the same thing was done to me by Cameron Smith and you gave him your endorsement. In fact, several PACs targeted me with false statements like “Don’t vote for Carole Lutness. She will raise your taxes. She will destroy Prop 36, etc.”. Funny, those same things are being said about Christy Smith in various hit mailers I have received. Almost verbatim!

    Admit it, The Signal is the House Organ of the Republican Party, the developers and City Council. Your policy is to endorse the establishment Republican candidate that will do the bidding of those who profit from land deals and other corporate degradation of our environment to the detriment of our citizens.

    Christy Smith is an outstanding person who has the intelligence and vision to be an incredible Assembly person. And she doesn’t associate with Right-wing hate mongers.

  • “Family matters should be off limits?” This is a community property state. You’re enjoying half the benefits of your husband’s finance career. How Dare you accuse your opponent of something that your own husband is guilty of. Sounds like HiTlLIARY accusing Donald of philandering when Bill publicly humiliated & embarrassed her in the White House w/ Monica. BTW- I wont vote for you because your mailers smear Trump. What does Trump have to do with YOUR Election??

  • Yes, I am an admitted DEPLORABLE. I Deplore- LIES, CHEATS, & CORRUPTION. I wont vote for you because your mailers smear Trump. What does Trump have to do with YOUR Election?? IDIOT. You not me.

Kevin Kenney

Kevin Kenney

Over 30-plus years, Kevin Kenney has been a writer and editor for United Press International, the New York Post and Fox Sports, among other outlets. He joined The Signal in 2016.