Barich cleared by FPPC
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By Dave Williams  March 15, 2013 12:00 am


The Fair Political Practices Commission found insufficient evidence to charge former Cotati City Councilman George Barich with violation of the Political Reform Act.

The charge was filed last year by longtime Barich nemesis John Moore, who was a major player in the successful effort to recall Barich from the city council in 2009. Both Moore and Barich have applied to fill the council seat vacated by Pat Gilardi. The council voted on Gilardi’s replacement on Wednesday, March 13. Go to www.thecommunityvoice.com to see the council’s selection.

Moore alleged Barich had used his newspaper, the defunct Cotati Independent, to solicit contributions for his campaign and failed to report those contributions, failed to have proper disclaimers on political advertisements, failure to file a campaign statement in connection with the election in a timely manner and failure to disclose in-kind contributions supporting a ballot initiative.

In a letter obtained by The Community Voice, dated Feb. 27, Gary S. Winuk, chief of the FPPC’s enforcement division, stated, “Under the act, a contribution does not include a payment made by a regularly published newspaper or other periodical of general circulation that routinely carries news and commentary of general interest, for the cost of covering or carrying a news story, commentary or editorial. Mr. Barich’s publications fall under this exception.”

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