SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A former lawmaker who resigned to take a job in the oil industry did not violate political gifting laws when he entered real estate transactions with a campaign donor who owns an oil-refining business, a state political watchdog agency announced Monday.
The California Fair Political Practices Commission released a letter outlining the findings from its investigation of former Democratic Sen. Michael Rubio of Bakersfield, who now works for Chevron Corp.
Shortly after Rubio resigned in February, The Sacramento Bee reported that he sold his Bakersfield home to a company registered to businessman Majid Mojibi, a contributor. The home had been put up for a short sale in 2011 and the company paid $185,000.
Mojibi also lent Rubio money to buy a $681,000 house in the El Dorado Hills, east of Sacramento. Mojibi and his firms contributed nearly $15,000 to Rubio's Senate campaign, according to The Bee.
The commission said in the letter that Rubio's transactions were at fair market value and do not trigger gift laws.
"Because the transactions ... were commercial transactions conducted on terms available to the general public without being apparently specifically designed to provide personal benefit to you, neither the gift limit nor the gift disclosure requirements of the Act will apply," the commission letter states.
The agency has proposed fining Rubio $200 for not disclosing the purchaser of his house— which was not made public until after his resignation — on his 2011 disclosure form.