Ethics commission fines city prosecutor, former council candidate


Former city council candidate Kelvin Barrios agreed to pay a fine of $ 5,000 imposed by the San Diego Ethics Commission for working at city hall while employed by a union.

Meanwhile, the commission fined city attorney Mara Elliott $ 400 for failing to properly disclose two donations to a legal defense fund.

Fines are the final penalties imposed by the commission, which is responsible for enforcing the city’s campaign rules. Both Barrios and Elliott admitted their mistakes in the December 16 stipulations.

Barrios was the main candidate for the San Diego City Council District 9 race more than a year ago when he suspended his campaign amid several problems.

The state’s Fair Political Practices Commission had previously fined him for violations committed in unrelated campaigns, and he was also the subject of a criminal investigation by the district attorney’s office.

According to the city’s Ethics Board, Barrios was employed by the City of San Diego and the International Union of Workers of North America, Local # 89 for about a week in 2019.

“The respondent has indicated that he has to work at least 40 hours per week for LiUNA, including during daytime working hours,” the stipulation reads. “During this same period, the respondent was also required to work at least 40 hours per week for the city.”

The District 9 seat was won by Sean Elo-Rivera, who sat last year and was recently elected chairman of the board.

In her stipulation, Elliott admitted that she had failed to report two donations to a legal defense fund she had established.

Under the deal, Elliott said she was 77 days late in disclosing a pair of contributions. His office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the fine.

The violations have also been acknowledged by KM Strategies, Amplify Campaigns and River City Business Services. These entities worked for the Elliott Legal Defense Fund, according to the commission’s stipulation.

The San Diego Ethics Commission was established over a dozen years ago, following a pension scandal that nearly bankrupted the city.


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