Dems Scramble to Check Their Campaign Ledgers, After FBI Arrests Big-Shot Treasurer
The FBI arrested Kinde Durkee, a big-shot Democratic campaign treasurer trusted by everyone from Councilman Dennis Zine to Sen. Dianne Feinstein on Friday.Durkee's arrest at her firm's office in Burbank, first reported by to The Orange County Register, was the first hint for many of her clients that anything might be awry.
The FBI told State Sen. Lou Correa on Friday evening that his treasurer since 1995 may have embezzled hundreds of thousands of dollars from his campaign fund.
"This is clearly a sense of betrayal of someone I have trusted for a number of years," Correa told the OC Register. "This is a punch straight to the gut."
Durkee is being arrested on mail fraud charges. Right now the U.S. attorney's complaint against her is centered on the account of a single, unnamed member of the state assembly, The Los Angeles Times reported.
In the meantime, other politicians who use her — and that list is long — are reeling from the news and double-checking their campaign funds.
Assemblyman Jose Solorio sent out an e-mail blast to his supporters about Durkee's arrest with the subject line: "I've been robbed."
Durkee brags that she's worked on five presidential campaigns and four governors' campaigns on her site. Some of the politicians and committees that used Durkee as a treasurer, include U.S. Rep. Loretta Sanchez, Assemblymen Gilbert Cedillo and Roger Hernandez; State Sens. Ted Lieu and Curren Price; Los Angeles City Councilman Paul Krekorian. She currently serves as the treasurer for at least 113 state-level committees, according to California Secretary of State records.
The OC Register notes that this isn't the first time Durkee has had problems with authorities:
Durkee has had enforcement actions taken against her four times by the state Fair Political Practices Commission, primarily for failing to report transactions or information. She has also received at least a half a dozen enforcement warning letters from the commission and stipulated to a violation before the City of San Diego Ethics Commission.