FPPC Concludes Latest Investigation of Elk Grove City Council Member Steve Detrick


December 4, 2015 |

In a letter dated November 30, the California Fair Political Practices Commission has informed Elk Grove City Council Member Steve Detrick that it has concluded its most recent investigation into payments made by his campaign committee.

The letter from the state's political watchdog found no wrongdoing by Detrick with regards to payments made by his campaign committee to the Sacramento-based law firm of Boutin Jones. The FPPC initiated its latest investigation in Detrick following an anonymously filed complaint allegedly that two payments in the amount of $21,553 and $4,771 payments to Boutin Jones were not directly related to his campaign or political activities.

"The payment of $21,555 was encompassed in a prior settlement [stipulation agreement FPPC No. 14/130] approved by the Commission on October 16, 2014. The payment of $4,771 was for attorney's fees in other matters. All available evidence regarding each of these matters have been reviewed ... this payment was made in accordance with political or governmental purposes." 

In the stipulation agreement noted above, the FPPC determined that Detrick has illegally used $93,484 from his campaign funds to pay legal fees incurred by his son Brian who was pursuing a slander lawsuit against an Elk Grove resident. In reaching the agreement, the FPPC lowered its fine to $3,500 based on Detrick's claim that he had repaid his campaign account from his personal funds.

Months later it was discovered that Detrick had not repaid his campaign committee with personal funds as promised. The FPPC acknowledged their errors in assuring Detrick's claim but said there was no further action they could pursue against him.

Copyright © 2015 by Elk Grove News. All rights reserved.




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19 comments

Anonymous said...

So if I read this correctly, the FPPC doesn't have the power to enforce their rulings. Steve Detrick can lie about repaying his campaign the $93,484 he was ordered to pay, and the FPPC has no power to make him repay it nor punish him for lying to them. If this is all true, why does the FPPC even exist?

Anonymous said...

The FPPC is nothing but a paper tiger government agency. The commission did have recourse to force Detrick to repay the money he said he did as former FPPC Enforcement Chief and Elk Grove Planning Commissioner Gary Winuk told Elk Grove News in a previous article.

The FPPC may be filled with paper tigers but let's hope the voters of Elk Grove aren't and see this for what it is: IMO, Detrick got away of pilfering $100,000 of contributor's money. And that should never be condoned!

Kenneth Ramos said...

“I look at anything that a fundraiser brings as a gift, and I treat it as such and I respect it as a gift,” he said. (Elk Grove Citizen article/December 4, 2015)

Yupp! There you go folks. Give Detrick a monetary gift.....so he can pay himself back for the money he had to loan himself after illegally taking $100,000 of those so-called "gifts" for his personal use.

The Developers are pretty stupid. The citizens not so much.

Saul Malone said...

FPPC Chair Jodi Remke said in the video that Detrick was not truthful when he said he paid back the $100,000.

According to Dictionary.com: Synonyms for untruthful. "deceitful, deceptive, false, fraudulent, misleading, untrustworthy, bluffing, cheating, corrupt, crooked, deceiving, disreputable, double-crossing, double-dealing, lying, shady, shifty, sneaking, sneaky, tricky, two-faced, two-timing, underhanded."

Pick one or two or three.....

Anonymous said...

And I might add in that same article Mr. Ramos....."“There’s a lot of stuff we’ve accomplished in the past, a lot of things we want to accomplish moving forward,” he said. “And you rallying behind us, to have people like Darren, Gary and me in office to help move those projects forward is all that we can ask for".

My question would be....when can we expect to see that forward movement? We've been waiting several years at this point. Guess I missed that rallying movement too.

OK, you've all done your "hot dog" articles, now lets see you live up to them for a change.

Warren Buffett said...

"Team Detrick" got away with another one. Good lawyers and a deep campaign war chest can go a long way, and somehow my nose tells me that Gary Winuk is weaved into this more than we will ever know. Voter apathy will continue to reward this kind of crooked politics.

Because Team Detrick admits that it costs $200,000 to wage a serious campaign for Council, please don't think that you remain elected because people think highly of your performance (same goes to the other four as well). Apathy and the high price of admission to compete are all that separates these "leaders" from the average Joe on the street.

Spin Doctors Wanted said...

Mr. Buffet,

Good points! I wonder how “Team Detrick” is going to answer questions about their candidate being fined twice by the FPPC (let’s not forget those trips on contributors’ money for which he was fined), and his lying to the FPPC about repaying the money.

Let’s see how “Team Detrick” spins this!

Unknown said...

Here is the real question. Why do we continue to allow those who have no interest in their constituencie other then pitching them pipe dreams for their votes to be reelected?

I think it's time a group comes together to put a stop to this by exposing the political shenanigans and rallying votes against those who continue to lie and misappropriate all funds "personal and city". Money means nothing if the votes are against you.

We now live in a society where technology and social media rules the day. I think it's time we start using technology and social media to our advantage and really become the change we so desperately seek.

"ElkGroveRise" is comming. It's time to buck the system. Tell the cronies they've been warned that "change is gone come".

Yours truly,

Silence Dogood

Anonymous said...

Congratulation to the Fair Political Practice Commission for standing up for what is right!

As we move into the Holiday Season, it is time to put all of this behind us and celebrate the reason for the season with Jesus Christ, the Christmas Holiday and all the blessings that each one of us should be thankful for.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Lt. Gen Corman said...

Anon 13:09 Proud to be Led; why didn't you sign your name to that post?

Proud to be led said...

Lt. Corman, didn't sign my name to post because it wasn't from me.

Thomas A. Anderson said...

Maybe it is out of fear of litigation, but commentators on this site seem to be dancing around the obvious – Steve Detrick was caught in a whopper of a lie. The documents we had seen clearly point out that Steve Detrick told the California FPPC that he repaid his account when he never did. In the reality that I inhabit, that is the definition of a lie. It is a lesson any self-respecting parent teaches their children from an early age. Perhaps Steve Detrick forgot that lesson from his parents.

Will the fact that Steve Detrick lied in a governmental proceeding – usually called obstruction of justice in my universe - matter when he launches his reelection? Probably not. As we have seen, his patrons don’t seem to be bothered based on the success of shakedowns, also known as his annual fundraisers. Detrick will simply flood mailboxes with glowing images of his picture perfect family, his gated-community palatial habitat and offer up platitudes about being a man of integrity. The adage of fooling some of the people all of the time seems to be his political strategy, and he will probably edge anyone out, if anyone deems it worthwhile to challenge such an entrenched, and dare I say, intellectually obtuse hack for the developers.

What is as surprising is how Darren Suen and Gary Davis consciously choose to align themselves with The Mentor. One way of judging people is by the company they keep. Are Darren Suen and Mayor Davis aware they are being tied to a liar? That's some mentoring being offered up by Steve Detrick. At least Pat Hume and Steve Ly had the wisdom to steer clear of The Mentor’s fundraiser. I suppose they didn’t need that type of mentoring.

As for Steve Detrick – leopards don’t change their spots.

Anonymous said...

Steve Detrick must have known that there would be no criminal or civil action taken against him for lying to the FPPC. He also knows that he is virtually guaranteed to be reelected next year, so there will be no political fallout for this move. Give the devil his due, he made the smart play (note I said smart not ethical) and is $100k richer for it.

That's not rain... said...

Thomas A. Anderson summed it up perfectly.

Let’s not forget when first caught with his hand in the campaign cookie jar by the FPPC for writing a campaign check for his Napa vacation, Detrick never came forward. He never admitted what he did was wrong. He never apologized to his campaign contributors or his constituents. And, he never promised to never again illegally spend his campaign funds.

As a matter of fact, quite the opposite. Three months later he was fined again by the FPPC for illegally using nearly $100,000 of campaign funds and lying about having repaid those funds. That is twice now. Did Detrick come forward then? Did Detrick admit his wrongdoing because he “respects the gift?” No, he did not. Then he does it a third time! The FPPC letter states there was “insufficient evidence.” Speculation is a witness did not testify before the FPPC because they respected a signed confidential legal agreement, as well as knowing Detrick would probably be “untruthful” and get off….which he did.

And BTW, the campaign “debt” Detrick said he is “retiring” are loans he made to himself for his campaign illegalities.

Finally, one has to wonder if developers are really that stupid to keep giving Detrick money. Or perhaps it is they know their projects won’t see the light of day if they don’t?

Paul Harvey said...

To “That’s not rain”. . It appears you may be correct. The article states the FPPC letter stated, “All available evidence regarding each of these matters have been reviewed.”

Perhaps the real “gift” Detrick got was the witness not testifying and/or not turning over evidence because they abided by the agreement.

Anonymous said...

Developers don't care if they lie...just rezone and rubber stamp my project. It's the taxpayers who pay the price and most suffer from Apathy.

Yogi said...

For the love of God! Someone please tell me Council man Detrick is not that stupid!!I just got done reading the Elk Grove Citizen article on this matter. Detrick sounds like low-hanging fruit on the intelligence tree. Doesn't he know why the various agencies that have investigated him exist? They exist to investigate potential wrongdoing by elected and appointed officials! And guess what??? You are guilty of campaign fraud Council man Detrick. The FPPC says so. They also said you lied about returning the $93,000 to you campaign account.

And to Anon 13:09, you made a very grave mistake. It's patently obvious "Team Detrick" is response for the comment. We all get it. We've all seen the movie UP....Squirrel!

Anonymous said...

In a recent Elk Grove Citizen article, the ever eloquent Steve “The Mentor” Detrick stated, “It's time to put up or shut up.” Detrick needs to produce those 100 complaints or shut up. An outrageous statement like that needed to be fact checked by the Citizen.

Anonymous said...

He never seems to know when to "shut up". Instead of letting it cool off, he just keeps adding fuel to the fire. Time to get a life and stop the blame game. Instead work to get the trust of the people back.

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