Former member of state assembly convicted of stealing campaign funds | California News

MARTINEZ, Calif. (AP) – A former California State Assembly member has been sentenced to one year in prison for using more than a quarter of a million dollars in campaign funds for personal expenses and for having lied about it while he was Election Chief for Contra Costa County.

Joe Canciamilla, 66, pleaded guilty to nine counts of robbery and perjury for stealing $ 261,800 in campaign funds to pay for vacations in Asia, dining out and a personal loan, among other expenses personal, the Contra Costa County Attorney’s Office said. Tuesday.

Canciamilla pleaded Monday and was sentenced to one year in county jail as well as two years probation. The sheriff’s office will determine how on-call time will be served.

Due to his felony conviction, Canciamilla will not be able to act as an attorney and he will report his criminal conviction to the State Bar of California. He will also not be allowed to hold an elected post, prosecutors said.

Canciamilla resigned as chief electoral officer of Contra Costa in October 2019. He was the youngest civil servant in state history when he was elected at 17 to the Pittsburg school board. He went on to serve on Pittsburg City Council and the Contra Costa County Supervisory Board before winning three terms in the State Assembly as a Democrat in 2000.

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In 2018, the Fair Political Practices Commission found that Canciamilla had violated campaign finance laws at least 30 times and falsified state statements to cover it up. The commission fined him $ 150,000.

Mike Rains, an attorney for Canciamilla, said his client ultimately accepted the plea deal to save himself further humiliation and enjoy his retirement.

“Why was it necessary to have more pain and embarrassment when he had already paid this restitution?” Rains told the San Francisco Chronicle. “He just doesn’t have to spend thousands and thousands of dollars to litigate this case at this point in his life, living on a fixed income.”

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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