Homestoryconflict of interest › FPPC To Investigate Brown’s Top Aide

News Story

FPPC To Investigate Brown’s Top Aide

SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
http://www.sfgate.com/politics/article/FPPC-to-investigate-Brown-s-top-aide-7044950.php

SACRAMENTO — The state’s political watchdog commission will investigate whether a top aide to Gov. Jerry Brown failed to properly disclose her stock in her former employer Pacific Gas & Electric Co.

Consumer Watchdog filed a complaint last week with the Fair Political Practices Commission, asking for an investigation into whether Brown aide Nancy McFadden also helped PG&E lobby for friendly appointees to the California Public Utilities Commission and influenced legislation that would benefit her former employer. The commission said there was insufficient evidence in Consumer Watchdog’s complaint to warrant an investigation into conflict of interest claims.

The commission will, however, investigate whether McFadden properly disclosed the status of her PG&E stock. Consumer Watchdog said she did not properly report when it was sold and for how much.

Brown spokesman Evan Westrup said there were “inadvertent filing errors” in McFadden’s state conflict of interest forms, and the forms were amended Monday to show that McFadden had stock in PG&E as recently as last year but that the stock has since been sold. Westrup said he’s not surprised the commission found the other allegations made by Consumer Watchdog “totally baseless.”

Jamie Court, president of Consumer Watchdog, said he is disappointed the commission won’t look into the other allegations.

The group contends McFadden had a conflict because she promised not to disparage PG&E as part of a $1 million severance deal with the company, where she previously served as senior vice president from 2005 to 2010. McFadden held between $100,000 and $1 million in PG&E stock at the time Brown hired her in 2011 as executive secretary for legislation, according to financial disclosure forms.

Melody Gutierrez is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: mgutierrez@sfchronicle.com. Twitter: @MelodyGutierrez