Conflict of interest? Former state senator's finances being reviewed

Conflict of interest? Former state senator's finances being reviewed

Former Democratic State Senator Michael Rubio may soon be investigated for his relationship with a local oil executive, for a possible conflict of interest.

BAKERSFIELD, CA - Former Democratic State Senator Michael Rubio may soon be investigated for his relationship with a local oil executive, for a possible conflict of interest.

A financial disclosure statement released over the weekend shows not only did Rubio borrow money from Majid Majibi, he is also his business partner.

Critics say this could be illegal. While, Rubio's supporters say his dealings were innocent.

"I know Michael personally, and he's of high ethics," said Gene Tackett, a Democratic and 17 News Political Analyst.

The financial disclosure statement released Friday paints the picture of a politician very much financially intertwined with the president of San Joaquin Refining Company, Majid Mojibi.

"I think his intentions were honest," said Ray Watson, former 4th District county supervisor. "I don't think he was trying to do anything that was illegal or unethical, but now that it has come out though, it doesn't look good."

Not only is there a $100,000 plus loan from DCM Assets Management LLC for which Majibi is the principal officer, Rubio is listed as Majibi's business partner in a company called M & R Investment Group. According to the filing, the partners bought two office buildings on Sillect Avenue in Bakersfield, as well as some agricultural property.

Critics say this causes some concern because during these dealings, Rubio was working to reform CEQA, California's Environmental Quality Act, and those reforms could have helped oil companies.

"I don't think there is anything they are going to find. I think it's more politically suspicious than it is legally suspicious," said Tackett.

The document says Rubio did not receive any income from the company. Even so, the state's Fair Political Practices Commission is considering launching an investigation.

"If I were him, I would want to clear the air," said Watson.

Rubio disclosed all of this information publicly, but the fact that he resigned less than two weeks ago makes some suspicious. Supporters, however, assure us Rubio resigned with honorable intentions.

"His family. He wants to spend more time with them, and he'll be able to do that more working for a private company," said Tackett.

Rubio resigned February 22nd to take a job as the head of government affairs at Chevron.

The state Fair Political Practices Commission will decide by Monday if it will investigate.

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