Fortier donated $500 to Sheriff Gore’s campaign on February 19, 2009, and gave a second donation of $500 on June 30. Both times he identified himself as “retired” on Gore’s campaign donation lists. Among other contributors to Gore’s campaign were Wayne Calabrese, president and chief operating officer for Geo Group; Eric Noonan, warden at Geo’s downtown facility; and Kyle Schiller, director of business management for Geo’s western region.
When asked why his employment by Geo was not disclosed on Gore’s campaign statements and why he had not registered with the county as a lobbyist, Fortier refused to comment and referred all questions to Geo Group’s corporate headquarters in Florida. Repeated calls to Calabrese or anyone in authority at Geo Group as to why they were contributing money to the Friends of Bill Gore campaign for sheriff were not returned.
According to Roman Porter of the California Fair Political Practices Commission, complying with the state’s legal requirement to disclose contributors’ true occupations is the responsibility of the campaign. A campaign has 60 days from the date of the donation to either correct the information or return the money. A December look into the campaign forms revealed no contributions returned or corrections made to Fortier’s employment status.
Repeated calls to the Gore campaign were unreturned.