By Associated Press - Sunday, April 20, 2014

OCEANSIDE, Calif. (AP) - A Southern California firefighter’s union has been fined $12,000 for failing to report all its donors for a year-and-a-half and not disclosing a contribution it made to the Oceanside mayor’s re-election campaign.

UT San Diego reported ( ) Wednesday that the Oceanside Firefighters Association Political Action Committee was fined by the state’s Fair Political Practices Commission because of five flawed campaign reports covering July 2011 through December 2012.

The group didn’t identify donors who each contributed $100 or more for a total of $121,485. Records show that total was 99.9 percent of the money the group received in that period.

The committee also didn’t report a $1,600 donation to the Committee to Re-Elect Mayor Jim Wood in September 2011.

The $12,000 fine was less than the $30,000 the commission could have charged for “serious violations” of the law, it said.

“The public was deprived of timely and accurate campaign financing information,” the commission said in its decision. But a lesser fine was collected because the errors were inadvertent, the group has no prior violations and it fully cooperated with the investigation.

Oceanside Fire Department Capt. Dave Overton, president of the 100-member union since July, said there was no intent to leave anything out. The union sent its information to an accountant but didn’t know the names of union donors were needed, Overton said.

“This is one of those live-and-learn issues,” Overton said. “We are putting in safeguards so this does not happen again.”

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