The California Fair Political Practices Commission is investigating phone calls reportedly made by former State Sen. Dick Ackerman to state legislators on behalf of the Orange County Fair Board in the days when the Orange County Fairgrounds was being put up for sale in 2009, FPPC officials confirmed Friday.
The state agency launched its investigation earlier this month following a report on the Voice of OC website, which claimed that Ackerman submitted legal billings to the Fair Board. According to the Voice of OC, records detailed calls that Ackerman made to state legislators in July 2009, about the time when then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger put the 150-acre property on the auction block.
As a state senator from 2000-08, Ackerman was prohibited from lobbying state lawmakers for one year from his last day in office, according to California law. The Fair Board hired Ackerman after the grounds went on sale, relying on him as its liaison with local and state officials.