Major Democratic Campaign Treasurer Arrested in California, Accused of Fraud
The FBI arrested a Democratic campaign treasurer for Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.) and Rep. Loretta Sanchez (Calif.) last week on suspicion of mail fraud, officials said Saturday.
Kinde Durkee of Durkee and Associates in Burbank, Calif., was arrested in connection with her position as a campaign treasurer, FBI Special Agent Steve Dupre confirmed Saturday afternoon to the Orange County Register.
She was arrested Friday afternoon in Burbank, KTLA News in Los Angeles reported.
Durkee also works for California and Orange County lawmakers, and California secretary of state records show she serves as the treasurer for at least 115 state-level committees, according to the Register. She has overseen the political action committees of the Democratic Party of Orange County and the Democratic Foundation of Orange County, the Register reported.
Durkee and Associates’ website says the accounting and business management firm has worked on five presidential campaigns, four gubernatorial campaigns, and numerous Congressional, state and local campaigns since 1972.
State Sen. Lou Correa told the Register on Saturday afternoon that the FBI informed him late Friday of Durkee’s arrest and that he is likely one of “many, many other victims.”
Durkee has been Correa’s campaign treasurer since 1995, and he said he believes he has lost “hundreds of thousands of dollars” in campaign funds.
“This is clearly a sense of betrayal of someone I have trusted for a number of years,” he said. “This is a punch straight to the gut.”
California’s Fair Political Practices Commission has taken enforcement actions against Durkee four times, mainly for failing to report transactions or information, and sent her at least a half dozen enforcement warning letters, the Register reported.
U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesman Thom Mrozek told the Register that Durkee may make an initial court appearance Tuesday afternoon in Santa Ana, but that was subject to change.