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Council candidate Nikfar misses deadline for financial reporting

Tiburon Town Council candidate Isaac Nikfar missed California’s first campaign-finance reporting deadline, and the second report is due this week.

His opponent, Stefanie Cho, filed her first pre-election disclosure on July 19, a day before it was due, stating she’s raised more than $2,000 and spent more than $1,500 on her bid for the partial-term seat.

Cho and Nikfar are vying for the Town Council seat vacated in January by Noah Griffin, who resigned for personal reasons. The winner of the Aug. 29 special election will serve on the five-member board for the remainder of Griffin’s term, which ends in November 2024. They would then be eligible to run for a full four-year term.

The Fair Political Practices Commission requires two pre-election campaign-finance disclosures, the first due July 20 for a period covering Jan. 1 through July 15. The disclosure is required of candidates who receive or spend more than $2,000, while a different declaration form is required for candidates who believe they won’t meet those thresholds at any point in their campaign.

Nikfar didn’t file either by the deadline. However, as a candidate in last November’s four-way council race, he never formally closed his campaign committee, according to Town Clerk Lea Dilena, Tiburon’s elections official. Any candidate with an open committee is required to file the financial disclosure form, regardless of their fundraising or spending totals.

Dilena said she sent reminder emails to Nikfar on July 24 and Aug. 3 and would continue to send notices for 60 days before referring a candidate the California Fair Political Practices Commission for enforcement, which she said is standard protocol for filing officers. According to the commission, state penalties for late filings can be $10 per day and up to $5,000 for failure to file.

In an interview last week, Nikfar said he’d check on the status of his first filing with the town, but Dilena confirmed at The Ark’s publication deadline Aug. 14 that she still hadn’t received it. Nikfar also said he’d have his second disclosure filed before its deadline tomorrow, Aug. 17, for the period covering July 16 to Aug. 12.

Candidates must also file contribution reports within 24 hours if they receive a total of more than $1,000 from a single source. A semi-annual report, covering activity between Aug. 13 and Dec. 31, is due Jan. 31, 2024.

So far, Nikfar’s only known expenditure is an ad in The Ark, which would appear on his second disclosure.

In her first pre-election disclosure, Cho reported that she and husband, Albert, each donated $700 to her campaign, while her sons, Nicholas and Christopher Krutilek, kicked in $25 and $10, respectively.

Sherman Oaks residents Susan Collins and Penny Johnson also contributed $500 and $20, respectively, and Tiburon resident Jeanne Rizzo gave $100.

Cho had spent $644 on ads in The Ark; $497 on her website, its design and its fundraising portal; $402 on campaign signs; and $30.50 on voter lists.

The Fair Political Practices Commission also requires every public official who makes or influences government decisions to file a statement of economic interests, an attempt to provide transparency to ensure officials do not have financial conflicts and act in the public’s best interest rather than in their own financial interest.

Nikfar’s disclosure, filed in May, says he has no disclosable interests in the required categories: investments, real estate, loans, gifts or travel payments.

Cho, in her June filing, disclosed investments, real estate and loans of at least $6.8 million.

That includes more than $1 million in Apple stock; shares worth between $100,001 and $1 million in Google, Netflix, Tesla, Vanguard, Cisco, Nvidia, Costco, Booking Holdings, Church & Dwight, TransDigm and Palo Alto Networks; two properties in Los Angeles and one in Fairfax valued at more than $1 million each, and a fourth in Virginia valued between $100,001 and $1 million; and two hard-money loans of between $100,001 and $1 million each from Allstar Capital Group and Allstar Financial Services.

Reach Executive Editor Kevin Hessel at



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