A Port Hueneme councilman is seeking online donations for his legal defense after the California Fair Political Practices Commission fined him $3,000 for a vote it says violated conflict-of-interest laws.
Councilman Jon Sharkey should have recused himself from a November vote allowing for $370,000 and $762,000 in upgrades for Hueneme Beach Park and Moranda Park, the FPPC says. That’s because the councilman’s house is within 500 feet of the parks. When this is the case, the law requires an elected official to refrain from voting, provided the action could knowingly improve the value of their home.
Sharkey has argued that the improvements were minimal, and that the 500-foot rule has become much more of a ‘guideline’ in recent years anyway. He’s blaming corporate bullying and politically-motivated colleagues for stirring up the controversy. The Ventura County Star also reports that he’s launched a GoFundMe account, not just for the $3,000 FPPC fine, but for any future expenses he may incur as a result of a fishing expedition against him.
“I've always been terrible at raising money, I like to pay my own way, but now I'm desperate,” the crowdfunding page says. “I've given my life to protecting our little town, and we really need help. Even the smallest contribution is important.”
Read more about the FPPC's decision here.
Image Credit: Flickr User wm_archiv, https://flic.kr/p/bzAoaL via (CC BY 2.0)