The Sacramento lobbyist for a prominent Inland Southern California gaming tribe has agreed to a $30,000 fine by California's political ethics agency.
Frank J. Molina, of Strategic Solutions Advisors, has lobbied since 2007 for the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, which operates a large casino near San Bernardino. The firm also has worked with the Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians, which operates a casino near San Jacinto and the Chumash Tribe of Santa Ynez. He was also former chief of staff to Democrat legislator Simon Salinas.
According to the state Fair Political Practices Commission, Molina and Strategic Solutions Advisors failed to file lobbying reports from January 2007 through December 2009. The firm received $840,000 in lobbying payments during that time.
The state commission is scheduled to act on the fine -- tied for the largest since October -- at its Feb. 10 meeting. Molina has agreed to the penalty, according to a commission staff report.
Molina did not return a call for comment Tuesday. A spokesman for the San Manuel tribe also could not be reached.
The violations carried a maximum penalty of $60,000. Molina had never before violated the state's Political Reform Act.
According to the commission staff report, however, "Respondents were not very cooperative with the investigation, causing significant delays in obtaining information and compliance with their filing obligations."
In addition, "Respondent Molina worked in the Legislature for nearly nine years, including as the chief of staff to a member of the Legislature. Thus, he was not an unsophisticated party."