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L.A. indicts lawyer for hiding contributions

Los Angeles Daily News reports: The [California] state agency that enforces campaign-finance laws Tuesday formally accused a Los Angeles attorney of making 26 donations to Mayor James Hahn's 2001 mayoral campaign under a series of false identities.

The Fair Political Practices Commission alleged that lawyer Pierce O'Donnell laundered $25,500 in campaign contributions by having employees and their relatives write checks to Hahn's campaign and then reimbursing them for the cost.

The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office charged O'Donnell last month with 26 misdemeanor counts of laundering contributions to Hahn's campaign in 2000 and 2001. Hahn has said he was unaware of O'Donnell's fund-raising methods.

O'Donnell's lawyers have argued that the case against him is essentially a civil matter that never should have resulted in criminal charges. They repeated that argument in a statement issued Monday in response to the FPPC filing. -- FPPC accuses Hahn contributor of using false identities (L.A. Daily News)