In response to a report in today's L.A. Weekly, advisers to Democratic A.G. nominee Kamala Harris are calling on her opponent, D.A. Steve Cooley, to return some $12,000 in campaign contributions from 2003 and 2004.
The contributions are tied to Gladwin Gill, the proprietor of a Glendale hospice agency who is about to enter federal prison on campaign money laundering charges. Six of the contributors used to funnel money to federal candidates also gave to Cooley's 2004 re-election campaign, but the Cooley contributions were not investigated.
Ace Smith, Harris' top strategist, called on Cooley to appoint an independent investigator to look into the Gill contributions.
Cooley's campaign strategist, Kevin Spillane, told the San Francisco Chronicle that the statute of limitations has already expired. He also said that Cooley's 2004 re-election account has already been closed out, so it would be impossible to return the contributions.
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That prompted Smith to hit the roof: "That's one of the most disgraceful answers I've heard from a law-enforcement person... He's built his career on corruption-bashing.... If he needs to he should write a personal check. Now he's invoking statute of limitations? My goodness, it's pathetic."