FPPC Investigation Initiated on Elk Grove City Council Member

April 8, 2014 | According to a letter issued by the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC), an investigation has been ...

April 8, 2014 |

According to a letter issued by the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC), an investigation has been initiated on a member of the Elk Grove City Council.

In a letter dated April 2, 2014, the FPPC has informed Elk Grove City Council Member Steve Detrick he is being investigated based on allegations that money from his campaign fund was used for purposes not allowed by state law. The complaint was filed by Elk Grove resident Linda Ford.

Specifically, Ford alleges that Detrick used his campaign funds to pay legal fees for his son Brian Detrick, who in a separate matter, is currently pursuing a civil suit against Elk Grove community activist Connie Conley.

In his suit, the younger Detrick alleges that Conley defamed his character and interfered with his business causing economic loss when she questioned whether he was properly sanctioned by the State of California to conduct a charitable fundraising event. Conley in turn filed an anti-SLAPP lawsuit claiming the younger Detrick’s action is meant to infringe and suppress her free speech and public participation. Both of those matters are in on-going litigation.

Council Member Detrick’s most recent campaign finance statement for the last six months of 2013 filed with the Elk Grove City Clerk’s office show several expenditures classified as professional services. The largest single entry was for $27,907 to the Sacramento-based Law firm of Boutin Jones, the same firm that is handling Brian Detrick's civil suit against Conley.

The financial disclosure statement does not show the date or details of particular entries

In an email response seeking comment on the matter, Council Member Detrick submitted the following statement:

"I have had over 100 city, county, state and federal complaints filed against me with false allegations by Connie Conley, Linda Ford, Danetta Garcia, and Teresa Rodriguez with every agency imaginable. I have turned all of these complaints, emails, phone messages, text messages and media coverage related to these complaints over to my attorneys to review and respond. The FPPC is reviewing multiple complaints filed against me and is expected to complete its review within the next few weeks. We have cooperated fully with the review and will continue to do so.”  


Linda Ford declined to comment on the matter. 



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40 comments

Willie Shoemaker said...

The war chest is bleeding money and developers don't like betting on lame horses. This gelding's political career may be entering the home stretch?

Anonymous said...

Clearly, the tactic here is to litigate, litigate, litigate until they run the coffers dry.
Conley, Ford, Garcia and Rodriguez should be ashamed of themselves. That's a great way to abuse the system.
If you aren't ashamed, you should be, Ladies. You aren't just wasting taxpayer money but you're wasting our time.

Anonymous said...

Funny that Detrick is using these tactics. If there is no wrongdoing here, then just produce the back up for the $41K paid to Boutin Jones paid out of his campaign account which is open to public scrutiny. Case closed.

Remember that Daniel Stouder, attorney at Boutin Jones, told the Elk Grove Citizen that Brian Detrick is his firm's only client!

Same old Detrick, pulled this same stuff when he was under fire about the St. Maria Goretti Church and he made comments like these from dais to Tom Waltman, Jake Rambo, Jake Allen, Jimmie Johnson and Paul Lindsay.

Anonymous said...

What do all of these ladies have in common? They all are ardent supporters of Gary Davis. Rodriguez works for him. Who is/was the only person with the political war chest that could challenge Davis? So let's file almost 100 complaints and lawsuits and bleed him dry. Viola, no more threat to Davis.

The Queen and her Court said...

Steve Detrick could never beat Gary Davis even on a good day!

Anonymous said...

If there is nothing to this complaint, then why is the FPPC investigating? Gary Winiuk knows Elk Grove very well. He was an original planning commissioner and ran for city council.

Detrick could have had one of his many attorneys send Winiuk the back up for those legal fees; with Winiuk seeing no violation, then he could have declined to investigated. Why didn’t he?

Mitchell Fiefman said...

"...over 100" complaints? Detrick appears to be engaging in a little hyperbole here. As gleaned from news outlets, here and elsewhere, it appears there are two complaints filed against Detrick with the FPPC, and two filed with the City of Elk Grove. 100's?

Curious what complaint Davis' intern filed against him?

Some how I don't think anyone is ashamed of filing the complaints. Wasn't it Detrick himself who said he welcomed the scrutiny? He encouraged citizens to file complaints with the appropriate agencies, going so far to say that he had already gone up against the Sacramento County Grand Jury (again, wonder what that was about) and prevailed.

The question here appears to be whether or not an elected official can make use of their campaign funds to fund a lawsuit brought forward by their offspring. A quick perusal of documents filed with the Sacramento County Superior Court suggests Detrick, etal, has made a bonehead move here.

Anonymous said...

Anon 14:57
You are assuming an investigation implies guilt. You're wrong.
Read up and be smart...
http://www.fppc.ca.gov/index.php?id=498
Just because there is a complaint and investigation doesn't mean guilt is a foregone conclusion.
The tactic here is for these ladies to continuously file complaints requiring Detrick to respond with legal support - this takes cash out of the bank.
Some consider Detrick a bully but we can see who the real bullies are: Conley, Ford, Garcia and Rodriguez.
And Davis should be ashamed to be associated with these ladies. Exercise caution, Davis, what they are doing to others today will likely happen to you by the same hands.

Jughead said...

Well this is all very interesting and all parties will get their day in court, so to speak. As for the mayor, he might want to make friends with Betty and Veronica instead.

Anonymous said...

Oh Jughead... please don't go. We can't offer you a milkshake or a burger but we've got plenty of coffee here in Elk Grove.

Gloria Steinem said...

Anon at 15:13 - Interesting comments. However, when four men took to the podium with Jake Allen saying he was going to file a grand jury complaint against Detrick, no one called him a bully.

In fact, the City of Elk Grove spent $5,000 on Tom Waltman's allegations against Detrick. Is Tom Waltman a bully for putting forth an official complaint?

Or are just women citizens who come forth to hold governmental officials accountable bullies?

Anonymous said...

That's not the only thing those ladies have in common!

Capt. Benjamin L. Willard said...

I must agree with Ms. Steinem.

When a man makes such a claim he is called bold, or a maverick. When a woman does it they are usually called a b#tch.

Anonymous said...

Ms. Steinem...
One complaint does not a bully make. A continuous campaign of egregious complaints does.
You post insinuates gender bias but it has nothing to do with gender, Ms. Steinem. It has to do with a group of citizens who abuse the system to settle their personal grievances at the expense of others.

Anonymous said...

Is this investigation /letter based on NEW expenditures by Detrick? Unless I'm mistaken, Ford filed the same/similar complaint to the FPPC on the same basis sometime last year.

Can someone shed some light here?

Shirley said...

Interestingly Detrick's comments are devoid of any kind of statement that he believes he wiil prevail. Most persons wrongly accused scream their innocence to anyone who will listen.

Uncle Leland said...

"I have had over 100 city, county, state and federal complaints filed against me with false allegations by Connie Conley, Linda Ford, Danetta Garcia, and Teresa Rodriguez with every agency imaginable."

Anonymous said...

Sure is a lot going on in this hick city.

Dannetta Garcia said...

Mr. Detrick is under investigation by the FPPC. If the FPPC’s investigation reveals wrongdoing, he will be held to answer. I will wait as everyone else will for the outcome.

If Mr. Detrick's allegations about individuals makes him feel better, then he should, “Stew in his own juices.”

Anonymous said...

I can only imagine how happy Pat Hume is to finally be given a little breather while they go after Detrick. This Detrick campaign of theirs has been going on for some time now....getting a little tiring. Makes me wonder if our city attorney is also getting complaints from them that we taxpayers are having to pay for.

?? what's with Teresa Rodriguez...she works for Mayor Davis. Is our Mayor somehow involved in this?

Truth Time said...

Why isn't Detrick loudly professing his innocence?

Did he or did he not use campaign funds to purchase 49er tickets that he used personally? Did he did or he not use campaign funds to purchase a trip to Las Vegas that he used personally? Did he or did he not use campaign funds to pay for his son’s lawsuit?

What about it, Councilman Steve “Mr. Honesty, Accountability, Integrity, Morality” Detrick, did you or did you not?

Simple questions: Why are you refusing to answer them?

Anonymous said...

Only a foolish person would come on here to make a statement about a complaint filed with the FPPC. We will know the answer when they make a determination on the validity of the complaint.

Anonymous said...

16:49...
Is Davis somehow involved? You'll never know but he certainly can't be blind to the issue. He certainly doesn't appear to have the will or strength to reign them in.
17:09...
Simple questions with answers that he is providing to FFPC through his lawyer. If you had this pack of wolves on your tail, you'd be smart to seek counsel, as well.
And that is why the tactic of litigate, litigate, litigate works so well. The bullies win regardless of the outcome... that's the abuse of the system.

Anonymous said...

It's only abuse if it's done maliciously with no known basis of fact.

The results of investigation will resolve this one way or the other. Someone will certainly have egg on their face when it's done.

Anonymous said...

Elk Grove is a regional joke.

Should unincorporate and go back to the county.

Abacus said...

Detrick states, "I have had over 100 city, county, state and federal complaints filed against me with false allegations. . ."

A search of all media outlets only shows three complaints filed on Detrick since all the complaints were filed against him regarding the St. Maria Goretti Church.

Two FPPC and one Sacramento County Grand Jury.

So EGN, has Detrick furnished you with the other 97 plus complaints filed?

That answer would be no because they don't exist!

Anonymous said...

Huuum...city? Don't tell me that many complaints have been filed with the city by the mentioned people. That means we, as taxpayers, are paying some major legal fees due to those complaints. Those most likely would not reach the media outlets. Am I not correct?

Double Standard said...

To Anon above: Any official complaints against a council member would have to farmed out to outside counsel as was done with the Tom Waltman complaint. It would be easy enough to check out. Send an email to the city and inquire.

I bet you won’t find anything, but since you are inquiring about legal fees, how inquiring about $70,000 in taxpayers money paid defend the Renyen & Bardis lawsuit.

But the naysayers on EGN are so quick to call four women bullies, but not a word about this lawsuit that is costing the taxpayers $70K and counting.

And so much for people who say hold our elected officials accountable, and when that is done, you all cry foul.

Not at all hypocritical, right?

Anonymous said...

Rodriguez is a city employee, right? I wonder what complaint she filed against Detrick and as an employee aren't personnel matters private?

Anonymous said...

What happened to the Activist the community looked to for support? Filing complaints serves no purpose...better show of that time in front of the dias in keeping the whole council honest and on track.

Anonymous said...

I'm having a tough time believing Councilman Detrick's statement. As noted by someone in an earlier comment, "over 100" seems to be hyperbole and certainly not an appropriate responsive comment. Not logical and, therefore, not truthful. I too would like to see a list to verify the veracity of Councilman Detrick's statement.

Going back through prior council agendas, potential litigation is discussed in closed session and case filings are noted. A random check of case filings on Saccourt.com shows no litigation regarding the City and Councilman Detrick, so therefore no legal expenses incurred by the City.

HR Specialist said...

Rodriguez filled a sexual harrasment complaint against Detrick. No really she did.

One of the Witnsses said...

HR Specialist:

How do you know this? There are only a handful of people who were aware of this complaint. It was confidential.

And by the way, there is no less than a half a dozen witnesses willing to testify on her behalf and four of them came forward on their own to third parties to report out the harassment because they were so appalled at Detrick's comments.

Nails in the coffin said...

Someone should advise Detrick, etal to cease commentary here.

Anonymous said...

To: "One of the witnesses" at 10:27am...you answered you're own question....If you knew about it..and at least four others knew about it...and they told "half a dozen witnesses" then I would say one of those 11 people let it outta the bag!! REALLY?? Might want to re-think your comments as they leave you looking pretty uninformed. Don't go and get "high and mighty" that someone knows/knew about this alleged comment from Detrick...and told on him. That is what this crazy town does...they like to eat their own. So, what exactly did he say? If you know, spill the beans. If you are confident that his language was offensive, then share it with us. Let the citizens be the judge of such matters. Perhaps Rodriguez is too sensitive? Perhaps Rodriguez is following orders from the "estrogen crowd"? Maybe Rodriguez is looking for a pay date? Let's get this out in the open....Detrick is a public figure so let the public chime in. If he needs to be reprimanded or suspended or “re-trained”; so be it. Getting tired of all the lawsuits/complaints. Either they are legit or not. Detrick needs to come clean with his legal bills and the estrogen crowd need to stop the vendetta they have against Detrick. I for one am getting very tired of all the drama; and worried about the lack of transparency with our city government as a whole. What a mess…what a shame…..such promise as a city…and we blew it!! Plenty of blame to go around.

Miss Marple said...

To Anon above; I am sure you would prefer the "estrogen crowd" to take to the podium and say in their three minutes, "Please council members, don't use your campaign funds for personal use and please don't harass the city staff."

Holding this council accountable can only be done, and they provided the vehicle, when they said, "Take us to the grand jury, take us to the FPPC, or vote us out!"

But go ahead, trying asking please and see what you get!

Anonymous said...

Marple has a good point.

Anonymous said...

Slow news week again.

Anonymous said...

The news week is about to get more interesting....One complaint settled; only 99 more to go!!! Stay tuned for the update. Conley 1; Detrick 0

Anonymous said...

If on simply follows the money trail, since Steve Detrick first initiated his filings to run for office; through the present, and did so "qualifying the origin of his funding" and details of specific expenditures...since then..what would the "details" reveal? Keep sleuthing...

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