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Former Los Angeles port official fined for ethics conflict

Former Los Angeles port official fined for ethics conflict

A Los Angeles Ethics Commission last week imposed a $5,000 fine against a Port of Los Angeles employee who improperly negotiated employment with a firm contending for a port contract.

   Stacey Jones, former senior director of engineering at the port, was offered a position with engineering firm Moffatt & Nichol the same day she signed off on a staff recommendation to award the engineering firm a $6.89 million engineering proposal for the second phase of the Cabrillo Marina, the Ethics Commission reported.

   Jones accepted the position the following week, but never went to work for Moffat & Nichol, according to the report. She later took a position with another firm.

   A 25-year employee with the city, Jones was passed over for the port's executive director position when the post went to Geraldine Knatz in December 2005.

   The commission report said she began looking for a position with engineering and consulting firms, including Moffat & Nichol, the following month. On March 28, 2006, she signed off on the staff recommendation of award, the report said, and later that night was offered the position by Moffat & Nichol.

   As a result of the commission's findings, Knatz was advised by City Hall attorneys to pull the Moffat & Nichol contract award and rebid the project.

   The commission fined Moffatt & Nichol $4,500 for its role.

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