Capitol Alert

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By Laurel Rosenhall and Christopher Cadelago

Embattled lobbyist Kevin Sloat has lost one of his most high-profile clients: the San Francisco 49ers.

Team spokesman Bob Lange confirmed to The Sacramento Bee on Friday that the NFL team has severed ties with Sloat, who agreed on Monday to pay a record-setting fine -- $133,500 -- to the state's political watchdog for violating lobbying laws. Sloat acknowledged hosting elaborate fundraising parties for nearly 40 politicians, providing liquor, cigars and other hospitality that amounted to prohibited campaign contributions.

Part of the fine levied by the California Fair Political Practices Commission was for Sloat improperly arranging 49ers tickets for two public officials.

His firm, Sloat Higgins Jensen and Associates, brought in $105,000 from the 49ers last year.

The 49ers are now being represented by Sacramento lobbying firm Governmental Advocates.

Also on Friday, Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg acknowledged that he is the so-called "Senator A" who attended a 49ers playoff game referenced in a lawsuit against Sloat brought by his former bookkeeper Rhonda Smira.

Smira alleges that Sloat directed her to attend a 49ers playoff game against the New York Giants in January 2012 to make sure "'Senator A' was 'completely taken care of,'" the lawsuit says. Sloat asked Smira to make arrangements with the 49ers to get "'Senator A' onto the field and into the owner's suite," the suit says.

Steinberg did not use his connection to the lobbying firm to enter the playing surface or owner's box, said his spokesman Rhys Williams. Steinberg paid for his ticket to the game, Williams said.

The FPPC fine against Sloat did not include the Steinberg incident outlined in the lawsuit.

"We reviewed all the relevant facts and there was no violation," said Gary Winuk, chief of enforcement at the FPPC.

PHOTO: Virgil Salgado of San Jose cheers on his team after he drove 12 hours to see the 49ers during the NFC championship game against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Wash. on Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014. The Sacramento Bee/Hector Amezcua.


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