State high court won’t review Duque ruling

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The San Francisco Chronicle

The California Supreme Court on Wednesday declined to review an appellate court ruling that struck down sanctions against a former state utility commissioner for buying stock in a wireless phone company.

The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, a Santa Monica watchdog group, had sought to remove Henry Duque, a former member of the Public Utilities Commission, for investing thousands of dollars in Nextel Communications. Although the law bars PUC members from investing in utilities, an appellate court said the statute did not specifically spell out any punishment for flouting the law.

The Fair Political Practices Commission is still considering whether to fine Duque for violating a separate conflict-of-interest statute. The FPPC contacted the foundation Wednesday as part of its investigation.

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