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Prominent California Democratic campaign treasurer arrested, accused of stealing campaign funds

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September 14, 2011

By Greg Janetka

California

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."[1]

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.[2]

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[2]
  • The Democratic Party of Los Angeles believes they have lost some $200,000.[1]

This could be just the tip of the iceberg - according to the FBI, Durkee had signature authority for over 400 bank accounts.[3]


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