FPPC Fines Garden Grove Councilman for Late Reporting of Campaign Cash

The state ethics watchdog is proposing a $638 fine for Garden Grove Councilman Phat Bui, for failing to file $22,684 in contributions on time, as well as occupation and employer information for nine donors to his 2014 city council campaign committee.

The campaign committee, Phat Bui for Garden Grove Council 2014, failed to file a semiannual campaign disclosure for contributions made between July 1 and Dec. 31, 2015, according to the agenda for the August meeting of the board of the Fair Political Practices Commission.

Bui’s committee also failed to disclose the occupation and employer information for nine individual contributors who made contributions between January 1 through June 30, 2014, contributions worth $1,250.

The agency found no evidence that Bui intended to conceal the information, and the board of the FPPC still needs to approve the fine at their Aug. 18 meeting.


The complaint was filed on March 17 by Orange County Republican Party Chair Fred Whitaker, amidst a heated primary campaign between Bui and incumbent First District Supervisor Andrew Do.

Bui said he was busy with personal matters and forgot to file the disclosure, and filed an amendment a month after the deadline, after he learned of Whitaker’s complaint.

“I’m responsible for it – filing late is filing late,” Bui said.

Bui filed a series of complaints to the ethics agency against Do of the June 7 primary and used media reports about his complaints as fodder for attack ads characterizing Do as a “state ethics investigators target” and himself as a “proven corruption fighter.”

The FPPC has opened inquiries into Bui’s complaints about Do, although that does not mean the agency has identified any wrongdoing.

Contact Thy Vo  at tvo@voiceofoc.org. Follow her on Twitter @thyanhvo or at Facebook.com/reporterthy.