Sparks fly over allegations of illegal donations in LA's 4th District supervisor race

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Sparks are flying over allegations of illegal donations in the hotly contested race to fill the 4th District seat on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.

Janice Hahn seeks a seat as a county supervisor, but she is among several officials swept up in an inquiry by the district attorney into campaign donations.

On Thursday, her opponent Steve Napolitano called for a county ethics commission, making so called "dark money" a focal point of the campaign.

"Our own independent legal review unearthed additional questionable contributions given to Hahn this year," he said.

The district attorney probe follows a Los Angeles Times report. The developed for a $72 million apartment complex in Harbor Gateway allegedly used a low wage employee to feed donations to local officials in exchange for their support, hiding the true identity of the donor.

"She knows who her top donors are. To say that a handyman is one of the top donors and she doesn't know who that is, or the source of the money behind that? Come on," he said.

Hahn said she asked for the district attorney to investigate the developer's actions about Napolitano's questioning of her ethics.

"This is the height of hypocrisy for my opponent, who is putting in over $2 million of his own money to buy this seat. We have no idea who's going to pay that back. We have no idea if he's going to call on a lobbyist and other special interests to pay him back his $2 million," she said.

Hahn benefits from high name recognition. She is the daughter of Kenneth Hahn, who served as a popular supervisor for 40 years.

Napolitano is a former Manhattan Beach councilman and aide to outgoing Supervisor Don Knabe.

While the seat is highly sought after, both candidates denounce "pay-to-play" practices.
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