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Judge recommends fines in Sen. Berryhill money-laundering case

SACRAMENTO -- An administrative law judge has recommended $40,000 in fines be levied in a case alleging that state Sen. Tom Berryhill (R-Modesto) laundered that amount of money in campaign contributions to benefit his brother's 2008 Assembly campaign.

The state Fair Political Practices Commission alleged that Berryhill provided $20,000 each to the Stanislaus County Republican Central Committee and the San Joaquin County Republican Central Committee, which each gave that amount to Bill Berryhill's campaign.

Stanislaus County Supervisor Jim DeMartini, who is chairman of the Stanislaus County Republican Central Committee, said he has been notified that an administrative law judge is recommending fines of no more than $40,000, with as much as $35,000 to be paid by Berryhill, and the central committees to also pay part of the fines.

“I feel that the judge didn’t get it right,” DeMartini said. “There was no contact from Tom Berryhill directing us what to do with the money.”

The recommendation by Administrative Law Judge Jonathan Lew goes to the state Fair Political Practices Commission for consideration before a fine is levied.

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patrick.mcgreevy@latimes.com

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