By DEREK MOORE
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
The state’s political watchdog agency on Thursday rejected a proposed fine for Santa Rosa Assemblyman Michael Allen’s chief of staff after a majority of commissioners argued that the penalty was too low.
Sean MacNeil had agreed to pay a $2,000 fine levied by the Fair Political Practices Commission after MacNeil failed to report income he received in 2007 from former Sen. Pat Wiggins’ campaign committee.
MacNeil, who declined comment Thursday, previously served as Wiggins’ chief of staff.
The five-member commission voted 4-to-1 to have staff attempt to negotiate a higher settlement amount with MacNeil, according to Roman Porter, a spokesman for the agency.
If those talks fail, the matter could go before an administrative law judge who will make a recommendation to the commission, Porter said.
Commissioners on Thursday also approved a $3,000 fine for Allen, D-Santa Rosa, for voting on matters in which the first-term assemblyman had a financial interest while he was a Santa Rosa planning commissioner.
The FPPC found that Allen voted to change the city’s general plan while he was under contract to a county agency to work on behalf of that change.