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Apology to Dawson

Posted: March 9, 2008 12:33 a.m.
Updated: May 10, 2008 5:01 a.m.
To the Editor:

I would like to apologize to Santa Clarita City Clerk Sharon Dawson for my inaccurate comments about her in my Feb. 26 Democratic Voices commentary.

While I was researching the mayor's failure to complete his state-mandated financial disclosure documents, I called the California Fair Political Practices Commission to determine the legality of the matter and asked, "Who is responsible for checking the Form 700?"

I was told, "The filing officer or agency in the area of jurisdiction (the city clerk in Santa Clarita) has the responsibility to see if the forms are turned in and completed, but they are not responsible for the accuracy or truthfulness of the submitted documents."

I based my comments about the clerk on that statement, but unfortunately, that statement did not accurately describe the full extent of her responsibility.

I later found the regulation describing the duties of the filing officer and learned that he/she only needs to check for completeness on the Form 700 summary page and spot check 20 percent of the attachments.

This is a case where a city code of ethics might limit these types of problems by including the requirement for the clerk to check for completeness in all financial disclosure documents.

Once again I apologize to Sharon Dawson for stating she didn't do her job correctly - I have found nothing that implicates Sharon Dawson in any wrongdoing.


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