Past DPOC Chair Jim Toledano charged with $350,000 extortion

Jim Toledano, former Chair of the DPOC (Democratic Party of Orange County)

Jim Toledano, the 65-year-old former chairman of the Orange County Democratic Party and a three-time losing state assembly candidate, has been charged with two felony counts in an alleged $350,000 extortion plot, according to prosecutors,” according to the O.C. Weekly’s Navel Gazing Blog.

Toledano is famous for running against Loretta Sanchez in the Democratic primary, the year that she went on to beat Bob Dornan.  And he also made the headlines when he left his wife and announced he was gay, shortly after retiring as Chair of the DPOC.

Toledano has been in trouble before, according to the O.C. Weekly, “A few years earlier, the Federal Election Commission caught Toledano attempting to conceal an illegal $10,000 personal campaign contribution to a Democratic candidate trying to unseat then-incumbent Republican Congressman Robert K. Dornan of Garden Grove. He was fined $7,500 and severely reprimanded by a U.S. District Court of Appeals which reviewed his conduct.”

I found the actual record of this transgression online:

Commission finds multiple violations by James Toledano, James M. Prince and Prince for Congress and Debra Lee and Paul LaPrade

In MURs 4652 and 4389, the FEC found that while James Toledano was chairman of the Orange County California Democratic Central Committee he accepted $10,000 from Debra Lee LaPrade (the sister of James M. Prince) and Paul LaPrade with the understanding that the funds would be used to support the Prince campaign for the Democratic nomination in the 46th Congressional district in 1996. Campaign finance law at the time allowed candidate committees to accept $1,000 per election per individual donor. As such, the donations from the LaPrades were considered excessive contributions to the Prince campaign. Mr. Toledano failed to deposit these funds in the Orange County Democratic party account and used them for a mailer that advocated Prince’s election. Neither the receipt of the funds nor the spending was included in committee reports to the FEC. In separate conciliation agreements, the LaPrades paid a $4,200 civil penalty and Prince for Congress paid a $5,400 penalty.

The Commission filed suit against James Toledano in 2000. On May 3, 2001, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California granted the Commission’s request for summary judgment, ruling that James Toledano violated 2 U.S.C. §432(b)(2) by failing to forward contributions properly to the committee treasurer. On September 27, 2001, Mr. Toledano appealed this case to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. On November 7, 2002, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the decision of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, granting the Commission summary judgment and imposing a $7,500 fine against Mr. Toledano. The appeals court also ordered Mr. Toledano to pay the Commission’s attorneys’ fees on this appeal as a sanction for his “bad-faith conduct and abuse of the judicial process.”

However, none of this shows up on his California Bar record, which still shows him to be in good standing.

Toledano also was a supporter of disgraced former O.C. Sheriff Mike Carona, according to the Liberal OC blog.  The current Chair of the DPOC, Frank Barbaro, also backed Carona – and he is STILL shilling for him.

The DPOC is so lame that even their past chairs can’t stay out of trouble!

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