Feinstein Campaign "Wiped Out"

Feinstein blames the same campaign manager for stealing money that Rep. Susan Davis also blamed

By Lori Preuitt
|  Tuesday, Sep 13, 2011  |  Updated 7:45 AM PDT
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California's Most Memorable Political Scandals

AP

Senior United States Senator from California appears to have been the victim of fraud.

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Sen. Diane Feinstein told Politico on Monday that her campaign fund has been "wiped out" after falling victim to a campaign treasurer accused of fraud.

Feinstein is one of an unknown number of elected officials who allegedly lost money courtesy a Democratic campaign accountant named Kinde Durkee.

San Diego Rep. Susan Davis was also impacted. Davis reached out to her supporters over the weekend telling them she lost more than $250,000 in the same crime spree.

Davis wrote of Durkee, "She may well become known as the Bernie Madoff of campaign finance treasurers."

The Davis team had a backup account that Durkee did not have access to, which allows them to continue financing the campaign. But Davis wrote her supporters and asked for help since they have been depleted roughly $250,000 in funding.

Durkee was arrested earlier this month for investigation of mail fraud. She faces charges for allegedly siphoning off nearly $700,000 of state Assemblyman Jose Solorio's 2010 campaign to pay for an array of debts. The Solorio charges are the only ones on the books for now, but the case appears to be spreading.

More: Click here for Prop Zero take on Durkee embezzlement charges.

Feinstein told Politico that her relationship with Durkee goes back nearly two decades.

"She did my '92 campaign, my '94 campaign, my 2000, my 2006 … my gubernatorial campaign," she told the site, adding "I trusted her implicitly."

She said only Durkee had access to the campaign account, which is making it difficult for her staff to assess how much money has been lost. 

The Associated Press reported that Durkee had authority over more than 400 bank accounts, including political campaigns.  Durkee's attorney, Daniel Nixon, didn't immediately respond to a phone message seeking comment.

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