Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Follow Up on FPPC Investigation With City Council Member Bill Sandke

Bill Sandke
City Councilman Bill Sandke

The Coronado Times followed up with Bill Sandke on his response to the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) investigation into his campaign finances. As we reported last week, an anonymous complaint was filed with the FPPC and an investigation was opened on November 9. The complaint alleges illegal reimbursements to the candidate of expenses paid by the campaign, and underreporting of campaign contributions and expenses.

- Advertisement -

Sandke quickly reported on his Facebook page that he was “100% certain not one of the errors are intentional and 200% committed to following any procedures or filings recommended by the FPCC to resolve this honestly, completely and quickly.” In that vein, Sandke quickly had follow-up conversations with the FPPC earlier in the week and yesterday and appears to be resolving the issues.

In our meeting, he said that he had clearly made errors, none of which were intentional and that he was intent on rectifying them. “The public deserves accurate and transparent information,” he said. The largest of the discrepancies resulted from an $850 county filing fee which should have been paid for out of the campaign directly, but which Sandke himself paid initially and later was reimbursed for. According to Sandke, because of clerical/accounting errors, it appeared as though he was being reimbursed for a fee already paid by his campaign.

According to Sandke’s understanding from the conversation with the FPPC official, the errors were considered to be small, technical errors. And, he was hoping that the situation could be resolved quickly. He said that they were his errors and “I need to fix them.” He was to have another conversation with the FPPC on Monday, November, 20.

- Advertisement -

Sandke’s most recent Facebook update on the investigation repeats his understanding that the FPPC found “small, technical” violations. Sandke enumerates several, including omitting “2014” from his campaign name, writing “dentist” instead of “dental office,” and failing to shade a circle to specify type of donation. He did not mention the larger, $850 error, discussed above.

As we reported earlier, the FPPC only investigates complaints if they are deemed to have merit. Jay Wierenga, the Communications Director at the FPPC, confirmed that “Cases conclude in a variety of ways … Some cases are settled with a Warning Letter … there are cases that are settled with a no violation letter or an Advisory Letter [which is a case where there may be some evidence of a violation, but not enough to prove a case before a judge or in court].” In the case of a violation and, along with a Warning Letter, a fine(s) may be assessed.

- Advertisement -

For the future, Sandke says that if he runs again, he will definitely employ a professional to do his finances. Or, another possible tool to help all candidates is Netfile. According to Sandke, City Manager Blair King is looking into the possibility of using Netfile’s paperless finance disclosure software, which can help candidates create more transparent and accurate disclosure forms. Sandke says that this will be a topic of discussion at an upcoming December City Council Meeting.


Do You Value The Coronado Times?
Become a Paid Supporter

Keep it civil. Comments may be removed or closed if they violate Terms of Service.

Luan Troxel
Luan Troxel
Luan’s background spans a range of industries from academia to management consulting to investment banking. Along the way, she earned an undergraduate degree in political science at Northwestern University, a PhD in the same field from the University of Michigan and an MBA from Columbia University. She has lived on both coasts and many states in between, as well as in Bulgaria and Germany. Have news to share? Send tips, story ideas or letters to the editor to


Historic City Council Accomplishments Improve Coronado

Submitted by Richard Bailey, Mayor, City of CoronadoAs we work collectively here in Coronado, throughout the region, and at the state level to address...

4th of July Heritage

Submitted by Ch, Col (ret) Gary J. ZiccardiI am a Coronado resident since 2016 who served as Navy Surface Warfare Officer for 4 years,...

Chief Kaye’s Compassion and Kind Actions Stand Out

Submitted by Carolyn RogersonWe never know when a dire emergency will strike our lives. When such a crisis confronted Coronado visitors Mike and Jan...

Congratulations Coronado High School Class of 2020

Submitted by Gene Thomas GomulkaOne should not be surprised that the San Diego County Health Department issued a cease and desist order in regard...


Barbara Haines (1929-2020)

 Coronado lost a very special friend last month. Barbara Haines died June 10, just a week before her 91st birthday. She was the oldest...

Multiple Restaurants Temporarily Close as Workers Test Positive for COVID-19

Editor's Note:  This is a developing story.Three Coronado restaurants have temporarily closed due to staff members testing positive for COVID-19. The Henry, High Tide...

Tracking COVID-19: 63 Total Coronado Cases Since March – Plus San Diego Stats

7/8/20 Editor's Note:  The County of San Diego confirmed that at least one death has been attributed to the 92118 zip code.  The story...

Dine-In Restaurants, Other Indoor Activities to Close

Beginning at midnight tonight, indoor dining at restaurants, bars, breweries and wineries will close for at least three weeks, after San Diego County remained...

Video: Navy Leap Frogs Parachute into Coronado

The Coronado Fourth of July Parade Committee and the Navy Leap Frogs brought some Independence Day thrills to Glorietta Bay with these "on-the-spot" landings...