Political Regulator Fines 46 in Political Season

     The California Fair Political Practices Commission issued 46 enforcement fines on Thursday, including $3,000 to a former state attorney who helped Kaiser comply with a state-mandated survey while working for the health care giant.
     Marcella Gallagher, former staff counsel at the California Department of Managed Healthcare, was fined $3,000 for helping Kaiser Permanente respond to a department survey. After leaving the state, Gallagher took a consulting position with Kaiser and helped Kaiser on a survey that she had worked on while still with the state’s managed health care department.
      According to the complaint, Gallagher helped pick the survey team, advised the analysts and reviewed and edited the survey report. The state-issued mental health survey was meant to ensure that Kaiser was complying with the state’s Knox-Keene Act, the 1975 law that regulates HMOs in California.
     Prior to the hearing, Gallagher waived her right to an administrative hearing and agreed that she violated the state’s Political Reform Act.
     The maximum penalty for Gallagher’s violation was $5,000 but the commission said she cooperated fully with the investigation and levied a $3,000 fine instead.
     In a statement, Gallagher said she was “very mindful of the restrictions once leaving state service and I believed that I was in full compliance with the law. But I respect the regulatory process and have agreed to this settlement to resolve this matter.”
     The commission’s other actions included a $5,000 fine to an unsuccessful 2012 candidate for county supervisor of Nevada County, for failing to file a pre-election statement.

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