Former Hanford Mayor Dan Chin Faces 21 FPPC Violations

Parts of this article are reprinted with the permission of Mark Pratter of the bulletinboardpublications.weebly.com/hanford-lemoore-future

The Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) issued a report last Wednesday saying there was probable cause that ex-Hanford mayor Dan Chin violated state law in the spring and summer of 2016 by accepting campaign donations of more than $100 in cash without proper reporting.

In all, the FPPC lists 21 violations including failure to file timely quarterly reports, pre-election campaign statements, semi-annual statements, and amended statements of organization. The full list of violations can found at the end of this article. Each violation could cost anywhere from $500 – $5000 meaning Chin might face over $100,000 in fines.

Chin is the chair of the political committee Hanford Now and served on the city council for three terms from 2000 to 2015.

Chin disputed the FPPC’s allegations and said many of the alleged violations are technical disputes.

The FPPC said Chin falsely reported Sylvia Chin as the source of campaign loans when in fact Chin himself was the source of the loans. The campaign loans totaled $6,400, according to the FPPC.

Chin disputed the commission’s point that he misrepresented a loan from his account as coming from his mother. He said he and his mother each have a joint account and both she and Chin have signature authority.

The FPPC report also alleges a series of illegal cash contributions in excess of $100 between March 1, 2016 and July 26, 2017.

Chin has been in trouble with the FPPC before receiving a warning letter in 2014 for past violations involving Hanford Now.

The contributions in 2016 involved negative advertising in Gary Pannett’s city council re-election campaign and Francisco Ramirez’ 2018 recall campaign, said Chin. Chin was successful in both endeavors as Pannett lost his seat and Ramirez was recalled.

According to Ramirez, Chin was the backbone of the recall campaign and engaged in filing complaints, writing letters and speaking against Ramirez at the city council meetings. Chin’s negative campaign pushed the envelope of ethical behavior according to Ramirez.

“Dan Chin’s lies and bullying caused me a lot of suffering. He has hurt many people in this community and perhaps caused an individual their life over the stress he was putting them through,” said Ramirez.

“I suffered a lot because of his accusations, and in the process my family did too. 90% of my business was lost, and at that time, I had to sell my life policy to pay my bills. I almost had a mental breakdown. I believe in karma and this just goes to show that when you lie and try to hurt others, eventually It’ll come back to you.

“For me, I’m at peace now. The lies and accusations made me a stronger person today. Dan is paying the price for his bad karma. Now, I wish him nothing but the best. I would like to thank all the citizens who believed I was telling the truth from day one!”

Ramirez discovered that Hanford Now paid $13,000 to individuals to collect signatures. Ramirez said that when you add how much they paid for mailers, which he alleged was about $12,000, that means the recall organizers spent a total of $25,000. In addition the city spent around $20,000 to administer the recall for an election where only 384 people voted.

Ramirez won back his seat ten months later and is now Hanford’s mayor.

Chin said the FPPC has offered him a settlement although he said he does not know what the settlement is or whether there will be any fines.

The FPPC acknowledged Hanford-Lemoore Future’s email requesting additional information on the case but no information was provided.

Although sometimes a controversial figure Chin had been one of the most active residents in community affairs over the years. Lately he has pulled back from his involvement in local issues.

When David Ayers was on the city council he appointed Chin, who was out of office, to serve on the Local Agency Formation Commission which considers boundary issues between the city and the county. The appointment was approved by the city council.

Chin is a thinker and has a broad and deep knowledge of community issues and local players. He also has organizational and administrative skill as shown by being able to successfully fight off a his own city council recall attempt in 2011 and the defeat of a sales tax measure known as measure S.

Hanford Now was created to defeat measure S, a Hanford ballot measure to levy a 1-cent sale tax increase to support police and fire services. The measure was defeated at the polls in November 2014.

Historically sales tax increase measures have not done well at the polls in Hanford and Lemoore.

The FPPC is a five-member, non-partisan commission whose job it is to administer the Political Reform Act of 1974.  The act and the FPPC were created in the wake of the Watergate scandal which occurred during the Nixon Administration.  The act regulates campaign financing, conflicts of interest, lobbying and governmental ethics, according to the FPPC web site.

The following is the FPPC’s report on Dan Chin and Hanford Now.

In the Matter of Hanford Now and Dan Chin, Case No. 16/711. On February 2, 2021, probable cause was found to believe Respondents committed the following violations of the Act: Count

1: Hanford Now and Chin accepted a cash contribution of $1,000 on March 1, 2016 in violation of Government Code Section 84300. Executive Staff Reports Page 26

Count 2: Hanford Now and Chin accepted a cash contribution of $100 on March 10, 2016, in violation of Government Code Section 84300.

Count 3: Hanford Now and Chin accepted a cash contribution of $100 on March 11, 2016, in violation of Government Code Section 84300.

Count 4: Hanford Now and Chin accepted a cash contribution of $100 on March 14, 2016, in violation of Government Code Section 84300.

Count 5: Hanford Now and Chin accepted a cash contribution of $100 on March 15, 2016, in violation of Government Code Section 84300.

Count 6: Hanford Now and Chin accepted cash contributions of $2,100 on May 5, 2016, in violation of Government Code Section 84300.

Count 7: Hanford Now and Chin accepted a cash contribution of $500 on August 22, 2016, in violation of Government Code Section 84300.

Count 8: Hanford Now and Chin accepted a cash contribution of $500 on June 16, 2017, in violation of Government Code Section 84300.

Count 9: Hanford Now and Chin accepted a cash contribution of $3,600 on July 17, 2017, in violation of Government Code Section 84300.

Count 10: Hanford Now and Chin accepted a cash contribution of $1,000 on July 26, 2017, in violation of Government Code Section 84300.

Count 11: Hanford Now and Chin falsely reported Sylvia Chin as the true source of a $500 loan made to Hanford Now on or around August 5, 2017 – instead of reporting Chin as the true source of the loan, in violation of Government Code Section 84211 and Regulation 18533.

Count 12: Hanford Now and Chin falsely reported Sylvia Chin as the true source of a $2,100 loan made to Hanford Now on or around August 9, 2017 – instead of reporting Chin as the true source of the loan, in violation of Government Code Section 84211 and Regulation 18533.

Count 13: Hanford Now and Chin falsely reported Sylvia Chin as the true source of a $2,400 loan made to Hanford Now on or around August 11, 2017 – instead of reporting Chin as the true source of the loan, in violation of Government Code Section 84211 and Regulation 18533.

Count 14: Hanford Now and Chin falsely reported Sylvia Chin as the true source of a $1,000 loan made to Hanford Now on or around August 18, 2017, in violation of Government Code Section 84211 and Regulation 18533. Executive Staff Reports Page 27

Count 15: Hanford Now and Chin falsely reported Sylvia Chin as the true source of a $500 loan made to Hanford Now on or around August 21, 2017 – instead of reporting Chin as the true source of the loan, in violation of Government Code Section 84211 and Regulation 18533.

Count 16: Hanford Now and Chin failed to timely file an amended statement of organization within 10 days of the re-calculation period on September 30, 2017, to change the status of the committee from general purpose committee to a primarily formed committee. Hanford Now and Chin also failed to change the name of the committee to reflect that it was primarily formed, in violation of Government Code 84103 and Regulation 18531.5, subdivision (c)(3).

Count 17: Hanford Now and Chin failed to timely file a quarterly campaign statement for reporting period July 1, 2017 through September 30, 2017, by the October 31, 2017, deadline, in violation of Government Code Section 84202.3.

Count 18: Hanford Now and Chin failed to timely file a pre-election campaign statement covering the reporting period of October 1, 2017 – December 9, 2017, due December 14, 2017, in violation of Government Code Sections 84200.5 and 84200.8.

Count 19: Hanford Now and Chin failed to timely file a pre-election campaign statement covering the reporting period of December 10, 2017 – January 6, 2017, due January 11, 2018, in violation of Government Code Sections 84200.5 and 84200.8.

Count 20: Hanford Now and Chin failed to timely file a semi-annual campaign statement for the period ending June 30, 2018, due July 31, 2018, in violation of Government Code Section 84200.

Count 21: Hanford Now and Chin failed to timely file a semi-annual campaign statement for the period ending on December 31, 2018, due January 31, 2019, in violation of Government Code Section 84200.

4 thoughts on “Former Hanford Mayor Dan Chin Faces 21 FPPC Violations

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  1. I believe he ran for another public office as in Tax Assessor, the unusual thing is I’ve seen him at Tachi Palace gambling during his campaign and I immediately said to myself “that’s not right”. So I’m not surprised he had these charges against him.

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