Sunday, June 21, 2009

Possible CA State Senate of Jeff Stone wants to fix Loophole

Thanks to Jeff Rowe of The Californian / North County Times for this story

REGION: Bill aimed at use of county car By JEFF ROWE -

A possible rival to Riverside County Supervisor Jeff Stone's state Senate bid has introduced a bill in the Legislature prohibiting elected county officials "from making a gift of public funds or property to any person."

The bill by Assemblyman Joel Anderson, R-El Cajon, closes what he says is a loophole in current law, which allows Stone's sister, Lori, to use a county car while working as a volunteer for her brother. She works on women's issues, homelessness and fundraising for charities on her brother's behalf and is paid from Jeff Stone's campaign funds ---- about $330,000 over the last three years, including an election victory bonus last year of about $130,000."People are offended," said Anderson, referring to Lori Stone's use of a county car and adding that his bill creates a "bright line" guiding the use of public assets.

Disclosure of her use of a county car and gasoline earlier this year created controversy, but Jeff Stone and others stoutly defended her work. County regulations allow such use and Jeff Stone added that it would have been more expensive for the county if his sister had used her own car and filed for mileage reimbursement."(The bill) is aimed at his own political expediency," Jeff Stone said.


Anderson has been mentioned as a candidate for the 36th District Senate seat Stone seeks. Anderson says he is "looking at" entering the race. The seat now is occupied by Dennis Hollingsworth, R-Murrieta, who is barred by term limits from seeking re-election. Stone's campaign manager, Jonathan Buettner, said Anderson's bill is "politically motivated" and "proposes to solve a problem that doesn't exist. County policy in place prohibits what he is suggesting." SHE (LORI STONE) IS AN OVERPAID "VOLUNTEER" THAT SHOULDN'T BE GETTING ALL THAT MONEY OR CAR.

Assembly Bill 1399 now will go to committee, which will determine if it merits further consideration.

Call staff writer Jeff Rowe at 951-676-4315, ext. 2621.

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