Rancho Adobe fire official fined by state's political watchdog agency

State authorities have fined a Rancho Adobe Fire Protection District director for using his position to oppose a plan to remake Cotati's main street.

Harold Griffith was fined $3,000; he faced a maximum $5,000 penalty.

Griffith was president of the fire district board in 2011 when he spoke against the controversial Cotati plan, saying it would shut down his longtime real estate business on Old Redwood Highway.

In doing so, Griffith tried to use his official position to influence a governmental decision in which he had a financial interest, the state Fair Political Practices Commission said.

The commission launched an investigation after an anonymous complaint.

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