Orange County Supervisor Andrew Do has been found not guilty for money laundering on Oct. 23, after an investigation provided insufficient evidence to support the accusation.
In early September, Do transferred $24,000 from his Central Committee account to the Orange County Republican Party campaign account. Two weeks later, Do’s campaign committee received a $22,326 transfer from the Republican Party campaign account.
In response to this transfer, a formal complaint was made by Mario Angeles Jr. requesting that the Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) launch an investigation into Do for money laundering.
“This appears to be a thinly veiled attempt to disguise the true source of donations to Andrew Do’s Supervisor account,” the complaint said.
According to Orange County’s donation policy, candidates are allowed to accept donations up to $2,100 per donor. Political parties are not restricted to a donation limit. However, it is an illegal offense to launder money from county political party accounts to specific candidates.
Do has been under public scrutiny in the past. In 2016, Do received $60,490 in donations for statue repairs. Although it is legal for politicians at the state level to receive an unlimited amount of donations, they are required to report anything that is above $5,000. Do was investigated for not explicitly showing where or how the funds were allocated.
While this most recent investigation is now closed, Do still faces accusations of residency fraud.
Do faces allegations of falsely reporting his place of residence on voter registration and candidacy forms over the last several years.
According to a formal complaint made by an anonymous resident, “Do and his wife, OC Superior Court Judge Cheri T. Pham, live together in another larger and nicer single-family residency they own [in North Tustin], which is not located in the first District boundaries, but the Third District [which] already has an elected Supervisor in Donald P. Wagner.”
This is not the first time that Do has been accused of residency fraud. In the midst of the 2019 bid for reelection, Attorney General Xavier Becerra received complaints regarding Do’s place of residence. In that investigation, Do was cleared by former District Attorney Tony Rackauckas. Now, with the upcoming reelection, these allegations have resurfaced and a new investigation has opened.
California law states that supervisors found to be living outside of their district are immediately subject to losing their position on the board.
Californians receive tax deductions when declaring a home their primary residence, which is also known as the homeowners’ exemption. However, investigators have found that Do has not declared a primary residence on his taxes since he was first elected into office in 2015.
Do’s situation is unique compared to other government officials. Information about a government official’s residence can typically be found by any reporter or citizen and is usually open to the public. However, state law exempts previous judges and prosecutors from having to publicly declare their voter registration forms. The two are considered to be “confidential voters,” which means that they are not required to list their place of residence on candidacy paperwork.
Though Do had previously stated his place of residence on past candidacy forms, they are now blocked from public access. As a result, Do’s registered voting location is also inaccessible to the general populace.
Allegations against Do’s residency fraud still remain inconclusive.
Amy Duong is a City News Intern for the 2020 fall quarter. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.