Reform CA files ethics complaint against Lorena Gonzalez for ‘job negotiations’ as next union leader

California Reform President Carl DeMaio. (Katy Grimes for California Globe)

The California Federation of Labor, one of California’s largest and most influential labor groups, voted Tuesday to recommend Congresswoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) as the next leader in a non-binding vote, a the Globe reported on Wednesday.

Politico published an article Tuesday evening confirming that “negotiations for jobs” had taken place between Gonzalez and the powerful California Federation of Labor.

However, many have seen the articles and wonder how a sitting elected lawmaker can legally negotiate future employment with a task force that regularly lobbies her on labor law?

Reform California announced on Wednesday that it had filed an ethics complaint with the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) demanding an immediate investigation, as well as enforcement action, against MK Lorena Gonzalez after news reports confirmed that “negotiations for jobs” had taken place between Gonzalez and the California Labor Federation.

MP Lorena Gonzalez. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

“I am filing this complaint and request that an immediate investigation be opened by the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) into possible violations of the California Political Reform Act (CPRA) by Assembly member Lorena Gonzalez,” said Carl DeMaio, president of Reform California, said in the complaint.

“Late last night, the Politico outlet confirmed that ‘jobs negotiations’ had taken place between Gonzalez and the powerful California Federation of Labor.”

Gonzalez quickly took to Twitter after the story was published to claim that she had yet to take the job – but the provisions of the California Political Reform Act (CPRA) make that irrelevant to whether she violated state ethical laws, ”Reform California noted.

Reform California explains the legal aspects:

“In fact, a government official who simply negotiates a job with a potential employer is covered by the law. Under subsection (c) of CPRA Regulation 18747, “a public official ‘negotiates’ a job when he interviews or discusses a job offer with an employer or their agent. “

“Once it is established that a state official has engaged in conduct that triggers sub-division (c), Article 87407 of the CPRA applies:” No public official shall make, participate in, or use official position to influence, government decision directly relating to anyone with whom it negotiates or has made an agreement regarding prospective employment. “

It’s no secret involved in state politics that Gonzalez, who served as CEO and Secretary-Treasurer of the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council, AFL-CIO for five years before being elected in Assembly in 2013, was one of the California Labor Federation’s most trusted legislative advocates. She officially sponsors and votes for their legislation and uses her office to influence the activities of state agencies, DeMaio said.

“While she should have served only the interests of her constituents, Lorena Gonzalez broke all ethical standards by negotiating a job opportunity with a powerful special interest group while making their offer to the Assembly.” , DeMaio said.

“Not only do we demand an immediate ethical investigation into this matter, but it is clear that Lorena Gonzalez must step down to withdraw any suggestion that she is using her elected term for the benefit of a special interest group with which she was engaged in. employment negotiations, ”DeMaio said.

“I urge that any FPPC investigation include review of text messages, cell calls and emails from the past seven months at least, as well as sworn testimony from members of the California board of directors. Labor Federation, ”DeMaio said in the complaint. The seven-month deadline is critical as Gonzalez was rejected by Gov. Gain Newsom for his appointment as Secretary of State in March this year – prompting the Assembly member to seek employment opportunities at outside. “

“This is now made public – please demonstrate that the FPPC will not turn a blind eye to this issue. “

DeMaio added: “Gonzalez will try to play the audience for fools by claiming that she has had absolutely no conversations with the California Federation of Labor – but the FPPC must swear her and others. , to find out the truth. “

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