Third Individual Charged in Calif. Commissioner Scandal

Los Angeles resident Ronald Leo Weekley has become the third individual to be charged in the scandal that ultimately drove former California Insurance Commissioner Chuck Quackenbush to resign from office.

According to the Associated Press, State Attorney General Bill Lockyer charged Weekley with eight felonies, including grand theft, perjury, receiving stolen property and preparing false documents. Weekley, a former president of the California Research and Assistance Fund, will be arraigned April 11 in Superior Court.

Weekley is alleged to have given the go ahead on an $18,000 payment to a consulting firm that he allegedly formed and owned. The criminal complaint seeks to prove Weekley lied about the payment on a state financial disclosure statement indicating that his firm earned less than $250 in 1999, when it reportedly obtained $18,000 that same year through the foundation. Weekley allegedly created a false invoice and work agenda to provide justification for the payment, along with reportedly stealing a computer.

Along with prior charges being brought against George Grays, a previous deputy insurance commissioner and Brian Thompson, a former federal coach who ran a camp for troubled children, Weekley is the third individual to be confronting criminal charges in connection with the Quackenbush scandal. Quackenbush, who resigned and relocated to Hawaii, allegedly came to a number of secret agreements with insurance companies that provided for them to donate millions of dollars toward his foundation instead of paying fines for mishandling claims related to the Northridge earthquake.

The foundation was formed under state law by Quackenbush that required it to be run by an independent board for charitable acts. An investigation by the Assembly Insurance Committee determined that the foundation was in fact being led by Grays, who allegedly moved its assets to distribute money to his friends and purchase television advertising orchestrated to bolster Quackenbush’s political career.