Former state Sen. Dean Florez, D-Shafter, has closed his 2014 campaign committee for state controller after paying off a $60,000 fine for misusing campaign funds, the largest such penalty in state history.
Although California law allows politicians to tap political donations to pay fines imposed by the state's campaign-finance watchdog, Florez paid $50,500 out of his own pocket. About $9,500 was money remaining in his controller's committee, according to a filing Dec. 27.
The $60,000 fine came after Florez admitting spending $26,542 from committees he established to run for lieutenant governor and state controller on trips, meals and entertainment. He also failed to refund $247,000 in contributions in campaign contributions.
The California Fair Political Practices Commission approved the fine at its Nov. 14 meeting.
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