LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office said Thursday that it will not prosecute a political campaign treasurer on charges of working without an accounting license because she already faces significant prison time if convicted of federal mail fraud charges.

The misdemeanor charge of working without a license is unlikely to increase the punishment for Kinde Durkee, the office said in a letter to the state Board of Accountancy.

Durkee is charged in federal court with looting $700,000 from a state assemblyman and targeting others, including Santa Monica City Councilman Terry O’Day, Rent Control Board Commissioner Chris Braun and a committee that backed the half-cent sales tax increase to fund local public schools.

“Prosecution is declined in the interest of justice,” the district attorney’s letter states.

Durkee’s work for District Attorney Steve Cooley for several months after the 2000 election had no bearing on the decision, said Jane Robison, a district attorney spokeswoman. Durkee briefly oversaw Cooley’s political officeholder account.

The state Attorney General’s Office told the accounting board Thursday that it would not prosecute the case, said Lauren Hersh, a spokeswoman for the accounting board.

“We’re kind of reassessing our options now,” Hersh said.

The Burbank city attorney has already declined to prosecute on grounds of a potential conflict of interest. Durkee, whose office is located in the Los Angeles suburb, was campaign treasurer for a City Council member who participated in hiring the city attorney and will evaluate her performance.

Durkee, who was treasurer for hundreds of Democratic officeholders, candidates and groups, has a preliminary hearing Jan. 26 in Sacramento on federal charges that she siphoned $700,000 from the account of state Assemblyman Jose Solorio. U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein has estimated that she may have lost $5 million.

According to court filings, O’Day’s account was drained of roughly $16,000, while the Committee to Protect Community and Schools lost over $14,000.

Working without an accounting license is a misdemeanor offense punishable by up to six months in jail and $1,000 in fines.

Durkee’s attorney, Daniel Nixon, did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

Editor-in-Chief Kevin Herrera contributed to this report.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *