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PG&E settles campaign finance suit

AP reports: Pacific Gas & Electric Co. and two other parties have settled a lawsuit alleging that they failed to disclose campaign contributions linked to a city public-power ballot measure two years ago.

The Fair Political Practices Commission announced Tuesday that it had reached a civil settlement for $240,000 with PG&E, the No On D Committee and the committee's treasurer, James Sutton.

The fine will be paid by Sutton and the San Francisco law firm Nielsen, Merksamer, Parrinello, Mueller & Naylor, which represented the No On D Committee, PG&E spokesman Paul Moreno said. Sutton is a former partner in the law firm. ...

The contributions were used to buy ads opposing Measure D, which would have made the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, rather than PG&E, San Francisco's main electricity supplier. Measure D was defeated after PG&E spent $2.7 million to oppose it, breaking the city record for a ballot measure campaign financed by one source.

PG&E, the No On D committee and Sutton were required to report each contribution within 24 hours, but didn't report them until a month after the election, according to a lawsuit filed by the FPPC. -- PG&E agrees to settlement over campaign finance violations (AP via SFGate.com)