By Ken Stone
Pico Rivera attorney David Kenney is calling on the FBI to examine Assemblyman Todd Gloria’s fundraising and spending for a race he says he isn’t in.
A day after writing local prosecutors, Kenney addressed a new letter Thursday to FBI Director Christopher Wray in Washington and Scott Brunner, special agent in charge of the bureau’s San Diego office.
“On behalf of Mat Wahlstrom, I am requesting that you investigate and prosecute Todd Gloria … for violations of the wire-fraud and/or mail-fraud statutes, 18 U.S.C. §§ 1341 and 1343,” Kenney wrote. “In short, my client believes that Mr. Gloria knowingly, fraudulently and illegally created a campaign committee for the purpose of raising money for a California Assembly Seat for which he never intended to run.”Wahlstrom was named as a client in an earlier letter to San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan and San Diego City Attorney Mara Elliott — along with Kathryn Burton.
Kenney, 66, wouldn’t say why only Hillcrest resident Wahlstrom was specified in his new letter.
“I was contacted and asked to provide assistance,” Kenney said in a phone interview Thursday. “I work on cases that my clients engage me to work on, and those matters are confidential and privileged.”
Calling himself “apolitical,” Kenney said he’d never even heard of Gloria’s mayoral rival Barbara Bry before being contacted by his San Diego clients.
Kenney said he had no connection to any candidates running for San Diego mayor. (But The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that Burton has contributed $200 to Bry’s mayoral campaign.)
Kenney remarked that Gloria’s Assembly 2020 campaign committee had received a $2,000 contribution from Deloitte Services LP of Hermitage, Tennessee.
“Presumably it was transmitted by the postal service, a commercial courier or electronically via interstate lines,” he wrote, apparently to show how federal wire-fraud laws might have been violated.
“Similarly, … he made numerous expenditures for an office he has never been running for, including one to Safeguard Business Systems (in Chicago), one to Kamala Harris for the People (in Washington), one to The Gemini Group (in Williamsburg, VA), and several to Southwest Airlines (in Dallas).”
Kenney noted that Gloria, despite filing a Form 501 “candidate intention statement” for the 78th Assembly District seat two days ago, says he isn’t a candidate for re-election.
“If there is no ‘candidate,’ there can be no campaign and therefore no campaign ‘staff,'” Kenney wrote the local and national FBI chiefs. “Mr. Gloria even reported ‘information technology’ costs paid to The Gemini Group for the non-existent re-election campaign.”
A Gloria spokesman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Separately, Kenney sent letters to the Sacramento offices of Gloria, Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins and Assembly Leader Anthony Rendon calling on them to “take all reasonable measures” to preserve potential evidence. He also wrote local Democratic Party Chairman Will Rodriguez-Kennedy and other party officials, asking the same.
“In the event that the authorities do not prosecute him, my clients intend to file suit to prosecute him,” Kenney wrote the Democrats. “As you can tell from the letter, it appears that at least one top official in the San Diego County Democratic Party has been working with Mr. Gloria and his Assembly staff to launder campaign monies.”
Kenney concluded his 1,000-word letter to the FBI: “My client does not take the concerns raised in this letter lightly, and he takes no pleasure in having to report what he has observed to your agency. However, he is very concerned about the integrity of the electoral process in California.”
In the interview with Times of San Diego, Kenney said he’s not done writing public officials or agencies.
“I’m certain that other letters will follow,” he said.
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