It could be hard to overstate just how anxious California Democrats were over the holiday weekend as they waited to find out the details of the FBI's case against Kinde Durkee, the go-to campaign treasurer for many Dems. The government's criminal complaint is out and, in the words of LA Weekly politics writer Gene Maddaus, it's a doozy.
According to the complaint...Durkee admitted to the FBI that "she has been misappropriating her clients' money for years."
The complaint alleges that Durkee defrauded Jose Solorio, an Assemblyman from Orange County. According to the document, Durkee used campaign funds to pay her employees, her personal taxes, and even her credit card bills.
One such bill covered expenses including cosmetics, plane tickets, gas, Amazon gift cards, a visit to Baskin Robbins, and a trip to Ariel's Grotto at Disneyland. Durkee also (allegedly) used Solorio's campaign money to pay for her mother's nursing home.
Durkee admitted to the FBI that she had "personal and business tax problems," according to the complaint, and that she used her business account "to pay for her daily living expenses, including food, entertainment and mortgages."
The FBI complaint says that Durkee has signature authority over more than 400 campaign accounts and that "substantial sums of money have been routinely moved out of client campaign committees." There's no mention of Durkee's biggest California client, Sen. Dianne Feinstein. The FBI case began as a referral from the state Fair Political Practices Commission.