Prominent California Democratic campaign treasurer arrested, accused of stealing campaign funds
By Greg Janetka
LOS ANGELES, California: Democratic candidates across California appear to be the victims of theft by their own campaign treasurer. Kinde Durkee, a long-time campaign treasurer, was arrested by federal authorities on September 2 for misappropriating funds from a client and filing false disclosure reports. The initial complaint focused solely on alleged misappropriation of over $600,000 in campaign funds from state Assemblyman Jose Solorio, but evidence now points to many victims, with totals over $1 million. According to court documents, Durkee "admitted that she had been misappropriating her clients' money for years."
The affected candidates are from all levels of politics, including U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, who employed Durkee for almost 20 years. A spokesman for Feinstein said it is unclear how much is missing from their accounts, while aides said as much as $5.2 million could be gone.
Other alleged victims include:
- Current Mayor of Irvine and U.S. House candidate Sukhee Kang - reported over $45,000 missing
- U.S. Rep. Susan Davis, who told supporters more than $250,000 was stolen
- U.S. Rep. Loretta Sanchez, said to have lost some $400,000
- The Democratic Party of Los Angeles believes they have lost some $200,000.
This could be just the tip of the iceberg - according to the FBI, Durkee had signature authority for over 400 bank accounts.