The California Fair Political Practices Commission, or FPPC, fined the College of the Canyons Foundation $5,500 Thursday morning for not filing in a timely fashion three 24-hour contribution reports and a major donor campaign statement in March, April and May 2016.
The foundation failed to report three $50,000 contributions to the Committee for College of the Canyons, or “Yes on Measure E” Committee, which was formed to support the 2016 ballot measure allowing the Santa Clarita Community College District to issue bonds to fund campus improvement projects. The COC Foundation reported the contributions on April 24, 2019, upon receiving notice from the FPPC.
The late filing of contributions caused serious public harm due to a lack of transparency, but wasn’t found to be intentional, according to a written decision by FPPC Chief of Enforcement Angela Brereton.
“The Yes on E Committee filed 24-hour contribution reports and pre-election campaign statements prior to the election to disclose the three $50,000 contributions, so the public received some disclosure regarding the foundation’s campaign activities,” Brereton wrote. “It seems the violations were isolated, as the foundation does not have prior experience with the requirements of the (Political Reform) Act and does not have a prior record of violating the (Political Reform) Act.”
Bottling Group LLC and Barnes & Noble College Booksellers LLC provided the funds that were then used by the COC Foundation to support the ballot measure. The two companies contributed to the foundation as part of their agreements to operate at COC.
The FPPC did not find any individuals or other entities liable in their investigation of multiple complaints, said Brereton during the commission meeting.