Seals? Don’t know anything about seals, but check out these puppies!

Matthew Leslie


UPDATE: Filings for the Sargeant campaign, including a Form 460 documenting contributions and expenditures, now appear on the City of Fullerton’s website:

City Council candidate Chuck Sargeant sent a campaign mailer that illegally includes an image of Fullerton’s City Seal to residents of District 2, where he is running for office. Sargeant evidently doesn’t know or doesn’t care that individuals or organizations are legally prohibited from using official government seals for private purposes.

Use of the City Seal is explicitly forbidden in the city’s municipal code for anything other than official city business.

Clear enough for anyone who bothers to read it.

Fullerton Municipal Code, Ordinance 2543: “It is unlawful for any person to make or use the seal of the City, or reproduction, thereof, for any purpose other than for the official business of the City, its Council, officers or departments.”

Printing a City Seal on a campaign mailer gives recipients the false impression that it is an official correspondence from the City of Fullerton, giving the candidate an unfair advantage over competitors.

Sargeant already ran for City Council four years ago, finishing far back in a crowded field of 12 candidates. Like that campaign, this current one doesn’t seem to have made any filings with the Fair Political Practices Commission other than a basic 410 filing establishing his campaign committee. Periodic filings are required for any candidate raising or spending over $ 2,000 for a campaign during a calendar year. Violators of this state code face fines for failing to make campaign filings on time, or not making them at all.

Chuck Sargeant will face three other candidates in this first election held specifically for a council seat in District 2. Voters in that district would we well advised to make sure whomever they support understands local laws.