IID self-reports possibly breaking election rules

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Imperial Irrigation District Division 1 Director Juanita Salas is pictured at one of the town hall meetings in Brawley. Photo by Lloyd Miller.

El CENTRO – Imperial Irrigation District (IID) General Manager Kevin Kelley issued an official statement concerning the possibility of breaking election law rules concerning one of the board members on October 4.

The statement read, “IID erred in publishing the photograph of Director Juanita Salas in its monthly Circuit newsletter that promoted the recent town hall meetings held in El Centro, Brawley, and Westmorland. In doing so, the district violated certain mass-mailing guidelines of the Political Reform Act.” On October 4, IID General Counsel Frank Oswalt self-reported this violation to the Fair Political Practices Commission.

In part, the letter to the Commission included a copy of the mailer and concluded with the statement that the IID wished to fully cooperate with the FPPC, asking for a favorable ruling. Oswalt said in the letter the oversight was unintentional and an isolated incident.

Jay Wierenga, communication director of the FPPC, said the investigation could take as little as half a day to as much as a week to process the information and then decide on how big of a case it actually is.

“When we get a complaint, we take everything under review, if there is enough information. If a case has merit, an investigation will commence, and we have 180 days to process the case,” Wierenga said. “We need to determine if a violation occurred, then we recommend a fine and a violation, depending on the violation it can be as high as a $5,000 fine.”

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