Sacramento's Sloat Higgins Jensen & Associates lobbying firm lost three prominent clients last month as revelations surfaced that founder Kevin Sloat would pay a record-breaking fine for giving prohibited campaign contributions to California officials.
Sloat lost contracts with Accenture, the San Francisco 49ers and Verizon, according to the latest filings with the Secretary of State's Office. Verizon was Sloat's most lucrative client last year, paying his firm $352,000 in 2013. Accenture paid the firm $179,000 last year and the 49ers paid it $105,000.
A fourth client — the Orange County Transportation Agency — publicly discussed this week whether to drop Sloat's firm, according to a report in the Voice of OC. The agency paid Sloat Higgins $258,000 last year.
The report quotes Jeff Lalloway, an Irvine councilman, and Todd Spitzer, an Orange County supervisor, saying they want the agency to cut ties with Sloat because of his violations of state lobbying ethics laws. Spitzer said he hopes lobbyist Moira Topp will continue to represent the transportation agency by leaving Sloat's firm, the Voice of OC reported.
Sloat paid a $133,500 fine to the Fair Political Practices Commission last month for hosting dozens of lavish campaign fundraisers at his home that included pricey wine, cigars and liquor in excess of what California law allows lobbyists to give state officials. Nearly 40 politicians — including Gov. Jerry Brown, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and legislative leaders in both houses — received warning letters for participating in the events. Sloat's fine set the record as the largest a lobbyist has paid the state for violating political ethics laws.
PHOTO: Aji Japanese Bistro in El Dorado Hills offers 17 wines and champagne by the glass on January 21, 2014. The Sacramento Bee/Jose Luis Villegas