Hospital faces fine from FPPC

DOWNEY - Downey Regional Medical Center is facing a $200 fine by the Fair Political Practices Commission this month after the 199-bed hospital allegedly failed to report a $5,000 payment to a political consulting firm last year.According to a statement of violation released by the FPPC this week, Downey Regional, a registered California lobbyist employer, failed to timely file a quarterly lobbyist employer report for the period of July 1, 2010 through September 30, 2010. The FPPC maintains that Downey Regional made a $5,000 lobbyist payment during the 3 month-period, but Rob Fuller, chief operating officer at the hospital, insists the allegation is inaccurate. While Fuller acknowledged that Downey Regional has utilized the services of political consultant Tony Rice in the past, he maintains the hospital never paid Rice or his consulting firm last year during the filing period. "But the firm filed forms saying they did lobbying for us," said Fuller with a sigh. "It's a paperwork snafu." Fuller said he is pressuring Rice's firm to clear up the discrepancy before the $200 fine is approved by the FPPC. The California Fair Political Practices Commission will vote on the proposed violation and monetary penalty this Monday in Sacramento. -Christian Brown, staff writer

********** Published: April 7, 2011 - Volume 9 - Issue 51