OAKLAND — Mayor Ron Dellums' office acknowledged late Tuesday that Dellums erred this year by not reporting a trip to South Africa on his annual statement of economic interests.
The statements — called Form 700s and signed under penalty of perjury — require state and local officials to disclose certain kinds of outside income, investments, property, gifts and, in some cases, travel paid for by outside parties.
In his two statements as mayor, Dellums declared no reportable interests in 2007 or 2008. That drew attention in April and again recently amid revelations that Dellums and his wife, Cynthia, owe the federal government $239,000 in back taxes, interest and penalties.
The mayor's office conducted a review of Dellums' Form 700 filings after receiving media inquires. Dellums traveled to South Africa in 2008 on the South African government's dime to receive an award for his work ending apartheid.
"At the time the Form 700 was due, we believed that because it was a government entity providing the funds, we did not have to disclose it," Dellums spokesman Paul Rose said. "We've conducted a recent review and determined this trip should have been disclosed."
Rose said the mayor's office will take what steps are needed to amend the Form 700. The travel will be listed as income because Dellums gave a speech upon receiving the award, Rose said.
If the mayor is found to have violated California's Political Reform Act, he could face a stiff penalty. Roman Porter, executive director of the state Fair Political Practices Commission, said violations can bring administrative penalties of up to $5,000.
Dellums' Form 700 is notably different from statements filed by some other Northern California mayors. Mayor Gavin Newsom, of San Francisco, and Mayor Kevin Johnson, of Sacramento, filed statements of 39 and 36 pages, respectively, with Newsom detailing gifts ranging from artwork to a crock pot. Mayor Chuck Reed, of San Jose, on the other hand, reported his wife's income but nothing else in a two-page filing.
While admitting one mistake, Dellums' office insists he did not receive any gifts of $50 or more — the threshold for what's reportable — in his first two years in office.