Kinde Durkee, Democratic Treasurer Accused Of Pocketing Campaign Funds, Did Not Have Liability Insurance
Democratic operatives are still trying to assess the financial damage left by Kinde Durkee -- the campaign treasurer who is accused of taking campaign funds for her personal use.
The FBI alleges she took nearly $700,000 from Assemblyman Jose Solorio. But Durkee did the books for hundreds of committees, and reportedly admitted she's been misappropriating money "for years." So the losses could be substantially greater.
Even more worrisome, Durkee had been operating without liability insurance, according to L.A. Democratic Party Chair Eric Bauman.
Durkee had dropped her insurance "some time ago," Bauman said. That could make it very difficult for campaign committees to recoup whatever losses they suffered.
Durkee remains in custody, and is expected to appear in court on Friday for a bail hearing.
Among her most prominent clients is Sen. Dianne Feinstein, who has used Durkee's firm since 1992. Federal officials alerted Feinstein to the case shortly before Durkee's arrest last Friday.
Feinstein's re-election campaign had about $5 million in the bank as of June 30, according to the disclosure forms Durkee submitted.
Durkee has been accused of filing false disclosure statements to hide transfers to her own funds. Feinstein's consultants have been trying to ascertain whether Feinstein lost any money, said strategist Bill Carrick. Banks have frozen Durkee's clients' accounts, and have asked for notarized release forms before disclosing their balances.
"This is gonna be a long time figuring it out," Carrick said. "There's no way to access anything."
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss LA Weekly's biggest stories.