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CoCo County District Attorney To Pay $45K Fine For Misusing Campaign Funds

MARTINEZ (KPIX 5) -- Contra Costa County's top law enforcement official is facing penalties after illegally using campaign contributions for his own personal use, including travel, hotels, restaurants and movie tickets over a five-year period.

"I really think that is wrong, and that he needs to step down," Edie Moore said.

Moore isn't the only one thinking that. The East Bay Times wrote an editorial saying Mr. Peterson - a 30-year prosecutor - should resign.

"What kind of credibility do you think he has now in the community?  Very little.  Very little.  His reputation is tarnished," Moore said.

The state fair political practices commission slapped Peterson with a $45,000 fine after investigating his finances.

Peterson was not available for comment Wednesday, but in a statement released earlier this week, he said he considered using the campaign money as a personal "loan."

The statement went on to say, "it is with disappointment and regret that I acknowledge the mistakes I made regarding my campaign financing account. As a result of these mistakes, I agree to pay the fair political practices commission a $45,000 administrative fine."

"He makes the decision on which cases get filed on, and which ones don't." Rick Barraco said.

Barraco says the district attorney should be held to a higher standard.

He should not be the D.A. If he's doing illegal things," Barraco said.

The commission is expected to finalize Peterson's penalties on December 14th.

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