State watchdog investigating allegations against District Attorney-elect Cynthia Zimmer

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Last month, Supervising Deputy District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer became District Attorney elect, winning her June race to succeed DA Lisa Green.

But now a state watchdog is investigating whether Zimmer violated campaign finance law.

On June fifth, Cynthia Zimmer was all smiles.

But Zimmer who will soon be handling Kern’s criminal investigations is being investigated herself. 

The Fair Political Practices Commission, an independent non partisan state commission, provided documents to 17 News Monday confirming it is investigating two complaints against Zimmer and others who supported her campaign for District Attorney.

One complaint was filed by Supervising Deputy District Attorney Michael Yraceburn just days before the June election.

It alleges Zimmer improperly used campaign funds. 

The claim centers around eleventh hour tv ads on KGET TV-17 and KERO 23 ABC featuring House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy supporting Zimmer. 

The question is whether Zimmer’s campaign illegally coordinated with an outside group to pump thousands of last minute dollars into the DA’s race.

That local race had a campaign spending limit. 

Cathy Abernathy, president of Western Pacific Research, the consulting firm that coordinated the ad buy, declined to comment on the FPPC’s investigation.

Charles H. Bell Jr, the attorney listed for Abernathy and the independent expenditure group in question also declined to comment. 

Reached by phone Monday, Yraceburn said he filed the complaint to the FPPC as an individual who supported Assistant District Attorney Scott Spielman in the DA race over Zimmer, not as an agent of the District Attorney’s office.

Yraceburn heads the DA’s office’s white collar crime unit. 

We reached out to Zimmer for comment, but did not hear back as of news time. 

When we first ran our investigation into the matter in June, Zimmer texted us “No collusion” saying she was not involved with any outside political group. 

The FPPC emphasizes it has made no determination about the validity of the allegations, or culpability of any person mentioned in the complaints.

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