By Derrick DePledge
Marvin Dang, an attorney who had been embroiled in a extensive battle with the state Ethics Commission over his service on a mortgage foreclosure task force, paid $1,000 in April to settle the dispute, sources say.
The settlement came after the Ethics Commission in April posted an advisory opinion, drafted in September, that concluded that Dang had violated the ethics code because he had been paid by a private organization to lobby on issues that were before the mortgage foreclosure task force. The advisory opinion does not mention Dang by name, which is the Ethics Commission's policy, but sources say it was requested by Dang and outlines his dispute with the commission.
The $1,000 settlement, which appears in a footnote to the advisory opinion, will go to the state's general fund. Ian Lind, a blogger and former Star-Bulletin reporter, was first to report the settlement on Wednesday.
"I'd prefer a `no comment' on that," Dang said when asked about the settlement Wednesday.
Leslie Kondo, the executive director of the Ethics Commission, had ruled in 2011 that members of state task forces are state employees subject to the ethics code. Kondo's ruling prompted state lawmakers to amend the law in 2012, carving out an exception for task force members, but Dang wanted lawmakers this session to again clarify the law so it applied retroactively to the mortgage foreclosure task force. The bill died.
Kondo's public statements on the Dang case were cited by Daniel Mollway, the former ethics director who was fired in 2010, in his March letter to the Ethics Commission urging that Kondo be fired. The Ethics Commission voted unanimously in April to reject Mollway's request.