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Yesterday, we reported that San Diego City Schools board President Luis Acle is being sued by his former campaign consultant because Acle allegedly stiffed campaign workers from his recent bid for City Council and tried to cover it up.

The trial, which was slated to take place this morning in Superior Court, was postponed until Oct. 13.

Ken Moser, the consultant who is suing Acle, said he also referred the matter to the city’s Ethics Commission.

Stacey Fulhorst, the commission’s executive director, said she is not permitted to comment on whether the ethics panel is investigating a matter, but spoke in general terms about the possible consequences of allegations such as Moser’s.

Fulhorst said that a candidate withholding payment to a vendor, such as an independent consultant, could be fined a maximum of $5,000 per violation. Every day that a bill is unpaid beyond the 180 days the campaign has to square its accounts with vendors could count as a violation, Fulhorst said.

In addition, covering up a campaign violation – as Moser alleges Acle did – would likely exacerbate the penalty for the candidate, Fulhorst said.

“If there were any evidence that there was intent to conceal, that would be substantial factor in aggravation that commission would consider in determining the amount of fines,” she said.

EVAN McLAUGHLIN

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