Home 2016 Election Steve Barr Could Face Up to $52k in FPPC Fines For Not Reporting Campaign Donations

Steve Barr Could Face Up to $52k in FPPC Fines For Not Reporting Campaign Donations

by ECT

BRENTWOOD – On Monday, the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC), California’s election law enforcement agency, received a sworn complaint regarding Steve Barr’s campaign for county supervisor in district three.

The complaint, filed by Diane Burgis who is the only other candidate in the race, will open an inquiry into whether Barr failed to publicly disclose $19,457 in large donor contributions as required by law.

When asked why Burgis filed the complaint, she said that all candidates have a responsibility to comply with state campaign finance regulations.

“I think the complaint speaks for itself, the rules were made for a reason and I am sure the Fair Political Practice Commission will determine how to best handle this going forward,” says Burgis.

Barr said Monday that he received a copy of the complaint and called it a mistake.

“I received a copy of the complaint from the FPPC today, and it appears that I made a mistake on the 24-hr reporting rule and I will be working with the FPPC to make any needed amendments and accepting remedies as they see fit,” said Barr.  “I accept full responsibility for this mistake in reporting deadlines.”

Rebecca Barrett, campaign manager for Diane Burgis for Contra Costa County Supervisor called it much more than a mistake.

“We were disappointed to find such significant financial mismanagement on the part of Mr. Barr,” said Barrett. “He built his candidacy on his fiscal know-how and ability to follow the rules, yet it appears he’s been unable to meet his obligation to inform voters about who funds his campaign. It should make us wonder if Mr. Barr is truly ready for the job.

California elections code states that all candidates must report monetary contributions of $1,000 or more within 24 hours of receipt, or within 48 hours for non-monetary, in-kind contributions. Steve Barr for Supervisor 2016 failed to file these reports on-time on at least ten occasions, only reporting the contributions on its quarterly report, released on September 28, 2016:

  •  $1,150 on August 18 from Richland Real Estate Fund, LLC of Irvine, CA (41 days past due)
  •  $1,000 on August 24 from Bloomfield Vineyards of Brentwood, CA (34 days past due)
  • $1,500 on August 28 from the Aloha Club of Byron, CA (29 days past due)
  •  $1,675 on September 8 from Balfour Properties (19 days past due)
  •  $1,675 on September 12 from the Committee to Re-Elect Robert Taylor of Brentwood, CA (15 days past due)
  •  $5,000 on September 12 from CREPAC-C.A.R. of Los Angeles, CA (15 days past due)
  •  $1,675 on September 14 from Premier Floor Care, Inc. of Walnut Creek, CA (13 days past due)
  •  $1,000 on September 22 from ASM Investment Properties, LLC of Oakley, (5 days past due)
  • $2,000 on September 23 from Build Jobs PAC of Walnut Creek, CA 9 (2 days past due)
  •  $2,782 on September 24 from Pacific Union of Danville, CA (1 day past due)

If the state confirms misreporting, penalties could equal $10 per day plus up to $5,000 per violation, a potential penalty of up to $51,730, more than the value of all contributions combined.

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Dave Thomas Oct 12, 2016 - 7:25 am

So let me get this straight, the last few days ECT has flooded us with letters showcasing how great Barr is with integrity and honesty and now we see this? No thanks Mr. Barr, you are not getting my vote. Why is Mayor Taylor giving you money out of his election campaign? Seems like dirty money to me

Bobby Jackson Oct 12, 2016 - 7:35 am

I can imagine the conversation between Bob Taylor and Steve Barr

Hey Steve, you going to run for Mayor again? asks Mayor Taylor
Steve replies even though you kicked my butt, maybe.
Hey Steve, I’ll give you $1,675 for your campaign says Mayor Taylor.
Steve replies, sure Bob, deal!

Typical Brentwood politics.

Gizmo Oct 12, 2016 - 7:48 am

A $51,700 mistake is huge for someone who’s campaign is based on being fiscally responsible. Hasn’t he been on this failure of a fireboard for several years also? Sounds like he needs more practice at public service before he moves up.

Still Supporting Steve Oct 12, 2016 - 8:30 am

Yawn, Steve made a mistake and admits it. This is really nothing in the big scheme of things. Antioch Mayor Wade Harper was fined $1,000 for the same thing. Maybe Diane needs this negative publicity because she is afraid voters will figure out she is jumping from seat to seat to seat.

Nick Oct 12, 2016 - 8:45 am

That’s a lot of non-reporting, but filing within 24 hours does seem rather stringent. People are busy.

Nancy Fernandez Oct 12, 2016 - 9:17 am

Having been a treasurer for two different campaigns two years ago I can attest to the fact the 24 hours is difficult but it is the law. Mr. Barr has my vote.

Bill Mooni Oct 12, 2016 - 10:27 am

So what is the excuse for 41 days past due? LOL

Julio Oct 12, 2016 - 10:42 am

Bill Moon, you could ask Harper the same thing. He was just fined about $1,200 for several violations. One about 45 days if I remember right. His wife is his treasurer.

Gizmo Oct 12, 2016 - 11:33 am

$51,000 is a shit-ton of money. That is no (yawn) for most of us. FPPC is not yawning. I guess that is pocket-change in Brentwood. Antioch could put that kind of money to work.

Vic Oct 12, 2016 - 11:43 am

Comparing Wade Harper to Steve Barr doesn’t give me confidence in Barr. Barr has been in elected office a long time. I am surprised he doesn’t take this stuff more seriously especially when he talks about being a financial expert. I would assume he has a consultant and other people helping him run his campaign, why didn’t they pick up on this. Either he has incompetent people working for him or they were hiding something.

Julio Oct 12, 2016 - 4:55 pm

Vic, Steve Barr and Harper were not being compared it was only a statement that others have made the mistake. Steve Barr is a far better person than Harper is or ever was. Now The Herald reports more on this story about the fines and so on straight from the horses mouth in Sacramento and from Contra Costa County. He isn’t in as much trouble as Diane would make it seem. I am still voting for Mr. Barr.

Giants Gamer Babe Oct 12, 2016 - 2:39 pm

So the records show that as of September 28th all of the contributions have been reported to the FPPC and the issue at hand is did Mr. Barr follow the 24hr notification? He says no he made a mistake by not reporting within the 24hr time frame. My question would be is it more responsible to admit you have made a mistake or to try and cover it up? I would take honesty any day! As long as I have known Mr. Barr he has always followed through and is a man of his word. We need to elect more people like Steve Barr that are willing to own up to a mistake.

BT is short for Bumpkin Oct 15, 2016 - 1:39 pm

@ GGBabe

I don’t think you understand. He violated the 24 hr rule many times and now is way beyond the 24 hour time frame. The report says his is days late not hours and one instance was over 40 DAYS. I think you need to admit you made a mistake right along steve barr. It seems you both have a problem with the little things as well as the big things. We DONT need to elect more people like barr! We have enough clowns in office claiming that apologies make up for everything. get real.

Jimmy Oct 12, 2016 - 6:31 pm

Yes, Barr is far more honesty than Diane. This example shows how desperate the seat jumper is. I would like to know more about Diane’s relations with the contributing sitting BOS. It’s pretty pathetic that none of the hundred thousand voters pushed a complaint on Barr except for her. Barr is a stand up family man. My vote will support Steve Barr.

B-Wood Oct 15, 2016 - 8:58 am

Jimmy, unlike Steve Barr who failed to disclose his financials (which we now find out includes a very large donation from mayor Bob Taylor), Diane Burgis has released all of her financials on time and to the public. It’s all available for you to review, so that you don’t have to put in any effort to see how many people are supporting her. She has actually raised more money than her opponent and has been open and honest while doing so.

The reason for financial disclosure is so that the campaigns and candidates can know what their competitors are doing. Of course Ms. Burgis is keeping an eye on this. After all it’s her responsibility and I thank her for doing so.

Can you say the same about Steve? The qualifications for supervisor go way beyond family man. We need someone with integrity and some real financial accountability. This latest incident is further proof that Barr is lacking in both.

For me, actions speak much louder than words. I’m sticking with Diane Burgis.

BT is short for Bumpkin Oct 15, 2016 - 1:34 pm


Whats pathetic is you continuing to call Miss Burges a seat jumper. Steve Barr has tried to jump seats over and over. He is a failure at that as much as everything else………..Figure it out for yourself. You are bragging about him being unsuccessful. How stupid is that?

Clint N Oct 13, 2016 - 3:30 am

Jimmy, Giants Gamer Babe, Still supporting Steve (new names for you this week?).

Sorry buddy but your cover excuses are just that. The “hundred thousand voters” (no where near that in the district) don’t review candidate’s expenditures & filings….other candidates do. Duh!

Steve is a seat jumper, just not a successful one, yet you skipped right over that. The difference is Diane has been successfully elected. Steve, not so much. Bawahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

This report goes way beyond simply missing a 24 hour deadline. You do see that he isn’t paying his bills, or disclosing that he is backed by developers right?

I wonder what his campaign manager is thinking since he hasn’t been paid. I wonder if he is aware that Steve stiffed his last campaign manager? Yeah a real financial wizard!

Those are real issues that matter. If you are still voting for him, you are dumber than you appear to be….and that is really dumb. Stupid should hurt. Just ask Mayor Bob who is 1,675 lighter in the wallet!

Oh and by the way, all of the polls, show Diane in the lead by a sizable margin. I think Steve is probably aware of that and maybe you should be too before trying to convince anyone you can that he is salvageable. Just sayin

B-Wood Oct 14, 2016 - 12:47 am

Steve Barr really screwed the pooch this time. His claim of fiscal responsibility just went down the drain. Maybe he should have bought a few hundred less signs? I’m thinking Barr thinks the key to fooling enough to people into voting for him is by putting a sign on anything that stands still.

Most people I have talked to, have come to the realization that he is over his head. Diane Burgis is a far superior candidate and has demonstrated she is well positioned to take on the responsibilities. Mary Piepho has served the district responsibility and she has been a good steward of the delta. Diane will have big shoes to fill but should come up to speed very quick.

Tom Oct 14, 2016 - 9:46 am

Serious deal breaker. Mr Barr obviously isn’t paying attention to finances while he is bragging about his financial ability. People with great or even good financial sense don’t make mistakes like this. I think we are seeing who Steve Barr really is. I won’t be voting for him. Diane Burgis is a better choice for this position.

Ken Oct 14, 2016 - 3:52 pm

Good for Burgis. She called Bull Shit on Barr declaring himself a financial expert or financially responsible.

Barr is admitting that he screwed up. Period.

Personal attacks on behalf of one or the other is just people trying to help their candidates and is just noise.

Bottom line Barr was irresponsible in his reporting. I will speculate that it was an oversight on his part or his treasurer, the other possibility is that he thought he could get away with it but I think that is highly unlikely. So let’s give him the benefit of the doubt and say it was an oversight,

Based on the theory of speculation Barr didn’t familiarize himself with the rules and/or he didn’t hire or recruit people to help him stay in compliance. That is a basic expectation I have of people I hire to do jobs. I think we have higher standards for an elected leader that will be involved in making sure the county is in compliance for billions of dollars.

He didn’t forget once according to the complaint, he forgot 10 times and over a month and a half. His staff and support system failed and so did he. He should start focusing on other things other than his financial expertise.

Tom Oct 15, 2016 - 2:41 am

Tom, I am pretty sure his treasurer is non other than his wife. It’s listed on his reports (public documents).

What is reality is that Steve Barr is very inexperienced and has demonstrated he has limited leadership. He has nice signs, and plenty of them, but he lacks substance. That is a problem for him which is more exposed every day. He has had years to improve, but the harsh reality is that he hasn’t.

It’s like the great Wizard of Oz. The curtain is peeled back to reveal something other than what was projected. I give him a thumbs up for his admission, but that isn’t what is needed to earn my vote.

B-Wood Oct 15, 2016 - 8:42 am

Tom is correct. Steve Barr is using his wife in place of a qualified treasurer. Now he is facing possible fines of approximately 52,000.00 according to the FPPC. That obviously has not proven to be smart.

That is a demonstration of his fiscal judgement that we cannot afford any longer. School district that he served on that now is asking for more money and a fire district that he serves on that is out of money and a city council that he serves on that owes money to the State.

We cannot afford Steve Barr as a county supervisor.

Sara Thomas Oct 15, 2016 - 11:21 am

This is what is so childish about elections.Instead of focusing on what you can do to represent the people of east county you waste time on petty claims that are simplistic.Barr like any other known politician or person is not perfect, but to grasp at a simple mistake and try turning it into something bigger shows how petty and disconnected from the issues that Diane Burgis must be. Her mentor has been involved in backdoor scams for the last eight years and there is nothing to show she will not follow the same path of a typical self serving politician like the Supervisor we have now. I will take Steve Barr any day over Diane. If you want more shady politics, corrupt deals behind the scenes, or pay to play go Diane. I support Steve Barr. At least Steve Barr is open, real, honest, and transparent. Barr is the better candidate for all of us in east county.

Janice Oct 15, 2016 - 11:41 pm

There is so much to say about Barr but hopefully this simple fact will help people know really who Barr is:

Barr switched from being a Democrat to Republican this year of Trump. Of all the times in his life he could have changed parties but he jumped on the Trump Train, not Ronald Reagan or John McCain, Mitt Romney or even the Bushes. Donald Trump helped create something so compelling that Barr decided NOW is the time to switch to the Republican Party, this past year.

He could have been unhappy being a Democrat and went to Decline to State but no,
Barr chose to become a REPUBLICAN when Trump became the emerging face of the Republican Party.

Just think about that….

DA Oct 16, 2016 - 12:47 pm

Who cares if he switched parties. The issue is how he will represent east county residents. What a nut job. No wonder this years political race has become a joke. I will vote Barr because he is a better person than Burgis.

B-Wood Oct 16, 2016 - 1:27 pm

Janice, a bigger issue is that Steve Barr is in a free fall. His campaign is in trouble, he lost badly to a mayor that has no skills and has no respect amongst his counterparts, he has been hiding behind the fact that most people have never met him or heard him “try” to speak, he has a very poor track records on the few positions he has held, his only successes have been by association but has provided no leadership as an individual), he is not a good listener or a great thinker, he is mainly supported by developers in a city which is overbuilt and underserved.

Don’t worry about comments above by fictions screen named people like “Sara Thomas”. She doesn’t exist.

The words used in the comment suggest it is the very same person that posts here under a dozen or more screen names but usually as “Unknowme”. It’s always the same blast of the current Supervisor, followed by how “honest and real” Steve is and somehow that it is bad that Diane Burgis has succeeded where Steve has failed. It’s desperate and so pathetic, but what else would you expect from such a low information voter?

An apology from Barr does not erase his most recent blunder and exposure. He should have known better, which suggests his probably did. That is very unfortunate and shines a light on to who Steve really is. His few endorsers are very embarrassed and they should be, they backed the wrong horse.

Oak-Lee Oct 16, 2016 - 1:40 pm

The stupidity of people who claim Diane tries to jump from seat to seat is stupid. Barr tried it and lost. Losing to mayor Bob is bad enough, losing and taking $1,675 is even worse. Barr has proven time and time again to be only caring about Brentwood and if elected to the Board of Supervisors, I hope that Discovery Bay, Bethel Island, Knightsen and even Oakley remember how Barr treated them when discussing fire station locations. He was all about Brentwood and no other community.

Meanwhile, Diane has worked on a regional level for years and has many connections that Barr does not. I can think of no other embarrassment as a councilmember than to have never met the Antioch Mayor prior to running for county supervisor. Steve has been a school board member and on the council for years yet he had never spoken to Wade Harper until this spring? Talk about in a bubble.

B-Wood Oct 16, 2016 - 2:04 pm

Oak-Lee, you said it best-better than I could have. Barr’s actions speak louder than his words and that doesn’t bode well for him.

Diane Burgis’ results in the primary makes it looks like she has all the support she needs to win this race handily. The job jumper smear is just that, smear. Diane has demonstrated a very good record and a successful assertion to prepare for the county seat. (If she had not done so, they would be trying to label her as inexperienced which she is not).

Ryan Oct 19, 2016 - 2:10 pm

Steve Barr says he is a successful businessman committed to fiscal responsibility.

He has had a contracting business, a pool business, a solar business, and a patio furniture business – ALL FAILED. A successful business would be still in business and that is not the case. Today he is a “consultant” but not sure what he is consulting about.

Responsibility starts at home wouldn’t you say? He can’t even manage to meet the requirements of a small campaign.

I don’t think we can trust this guy.

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