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Former Assemblyman Alberto Torrico registered as a California lobbyist last week after two years of working as a lawyer and consultant in the state Capitol - but not registering as a lobbyist.

Torrico registered his law firm, the Law Offices of Alberto Torrico, as a lobbying firm and signed the State Coalition of Probation Organizations as a client. He said he will remain an "of counsel" attorney for the lobbying firm Capitol Advocacy, which is owned by lobbyist John Latimer.

Torrico said he registered as a lobbyist because the probation officers group intends to sponsor a few bills this year.

"So it is going to require me to be in the building and trying to impact the continuation of realignment," Torrico said. "They need me to be a lobbyist. They need me to work their bills."

Previously, Torrico said, his work for the group had been more political advising than direct lobbying.

Torrico, a Democrat who represented the East Bay community of Newark in the Assembly for six years, was termed out of the lower house in 2010. California's revolving-door law prohibits lawmakers from becoming lobbyists for one year after they leave office.

Sacramento is full of former politicians who work as advocates or consultants but do not register as lobbyists, as The Bee reported earlier this month. Many say their work doesn't meet the legal definition of lobbying. Yet without registering, these advocates do not have to disclose the interest groups that are paying them. And they are not subject to the state's limits on gifts and campaign contributions that apply to registered lobbyists.


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