See also “Can Aja Brown, Compton's Hip, Refreshing Reform Mayor, Turn This Woeful City Around?”

Isaac Galvan, who was recently elected as Compton's first Latino city councilman, may be in a world of trouble for not filing his campaign finance reports.

“It's a pretty serious violation,” says good government expert Bob Stern. “You just can't ignore the requirements of the law.”

The Los Angeles Times broke the story this morning about Galvan's major misstep, and now reports that the state's Fair Political Practices Commission's enforcement division is considering an investigation. Galvan, 26, was featured in a recent L.A. Weekly cover story

Stern says Galvan should have filed at least one campaign finance report before an April primary and one before a June runoff. Galvan defeated longtime Councilwoman Lillie Dobson in June.

If Galvan didn't raise or spend more than $1,000 for those elections, says Stern, then he should have filed a report stating that.

Galvan, a Democrat and political newcomer, appeared to have a well-financed campaign.

“The real question is,” says Stern, “Did [Galvan] spend the [campaign] money or was there an independent expenditure?”

An independent expenditure involves a group, such as a labor union or political action committee, that spends money on a political candidate but doesn't have official ties to that person's campaign.

For decades, Compton has suffered from a non-transparent city government, which has resulted in numerous scandals. Unlike Los Angeles or West Hollywood, campaign finance reports are not posted on Compton's website.

Galvan took office on July 2. Several days prior to that, he sat down for an interview with L.A. Weekly. At times, Galvan inexplicably acted in a standoffish manner when asked routine questions about his background.

Galvan told the Weekly he had lived in Compton for three years and ran his own printing business. Those claims have been disputed in the L.A. Times article. Galvan was also reluctant to say that he was born in Los Angeles.

Compton's latino leadership has been wary of Galvan, who didn't seem too concerned about that fact. “I'd love to be friends with everybody and get along with everybody,” he said, “but what's most important is to do what's right for the people.”

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Patrick Range McDonald on Twitter at @PRMcDonald.

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