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$32Ok fine for ex-utilities commissioner lobbying colleagues

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - California’s marketing campaign watchdog introduced Monday that it's fining a former public utilities commissioner $32,500 for failing to reveal that she used to be lobbying her former colleagues on behalf of ride-hailing and water corporations.

The Fair Political Practices Commission introduced the agreement with Susan Kennedy, who in the past held most sensible jobs with each Democratic governor Gray Davis and Republican governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Kennedy now is of the same opinion that she certified as a lobbyist for Lyft Inc. and San Gabriel Valley Water Company, in line with the agreement.

They paid her $201,500 as she tried to steer commissioners and workers of the bothered California Public Utilities Commission, however she didn't sign in as a lobbyist or report lobbying experiences from 2012 via 2014.

Kennedy used to be Davis’ deputy leader of group of workers and cupboard secretary earlier than serving at the Public Utilities Commission from 2003 to 2006. She used to be Schwarzenegger’s leader of group of workers from 2007 to 2011 earlier than changing into a expert for shoppers with industry earlier than the fee in addition to different state and federal companies.

Her lawyer and spokesman, James Harrison, mentioned in a commentary that Kennedy acted straight away to proper the issue as soon as it used to be known as a result of “integrity and personality are hallmark ideas in how Ms. Kennedy conducts herself in industry.”

Lyft paid her $15,000 a month beginning in November 2012 whilst Lyft and identical ride-hailing corporations had been sparring with the fee. The fee in August 2012 ordered Lyft to prevent running as it lacked the fee’s approval, and the corporate paid a $20,000 fine.

But Kennedy contacted then-commission president Michael Peevey, the fee’s govt director and different workers, arguing that the fee will have to paintings with the ride-hailing corporations as an alternative of shutting them down.

The fee in December 2012 beginning drafting rules together with requiring the usage of approved drivers, legal responsibility insurance coverage, motive force background exams, motive force coaching techniques and automobile inspections. Kennedy contacted fee workers throughout the 9 months the principles had been being crafted and persuaded the fee to undertake a lot of Lyft’s tips, in line with the FPPC criticism.

Her contract described her as a expert, now not a lobbyist, and neither she nor Lyft filed lobbying experiences. But the criticism mentioned her contacts with the FPPC certified her as a lobbyist who will have to have registered.

Similarly, the water corporate started paying Kennedy $25,000 a month in December 2013 whilst it sought upper water charges over the objections of town of Fontana and the Fontana School District.

Kennedy met with Peevey, commissioner Michael Picker and fee workers, however in May the fee sided with Fontana and the college district. In November, commissioners licensed a agreement with a changed charge building up agreed to by means of all of the events.

Picker is now president of the utilities fee after Peevey stepped down in 2014 amid accusations of back-channel dealings with utilities. Gov. Jerry Brown named Picker, his former adviser on renewable power and a former software board member.

The agreement with Kennedy might be regarded as by means of the FPPC at its Feb. 15 assembly. Her two former shoppers didn't straight away reply to e mail and call messages from The Associated Press in quest of remark.

Kennedy mentioned she has been operating fulltime since 2014 on growing an power garage industry, Advanced Microgrid Solutions, and now not is a paid guide.

Schwarzenegger additionally appointed Kennedy to the five-member Health Benefits Exchange, the Covered California board that designed the state’s medical health insurance marketplace as a part of nationwide well being reform. She stays on that unpaid board.


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